Two Fresno men have been arrested and charged with sex trafficking of minors by force, fraud or coercion following an investigation in San Luis Obispo that lasted several months.
Javiar Solis, 28, and Michael Anthony Andrade, 33, were arrested on federal charges in Fresno Dec. 3 as a result of an interagency investigation involving the San Luis Obispo and Fresno police departments and the FBI.
The investigation began when Fresno police learned that the two suspects had brought two juvenile girls, ages 15 and 17, to San Luis Obispo and coerced them into illegal drug use and acts of prostitution, the San Luis Obispo police said in a news release.
In October, one of the girls escaped to safety in the Central Valley, but police learned that the other victim was possibly being held at a motel in San Luis Obispo.
Officers arrived at the motel and located the second girl and took her into protective custody. However, the two suspects were not found at the motel but were later located in Fresno.
The investigation into the incident showed that the suspects used force and fear tactics to force the victims into engaging in multiple acts of prostitution in San Luis Obispo and other areas, said Capt. Keith Storton.
“The suspects would use the money collected from this activity to engage in other illegal behavior to include the purchase and use of illegal narcotics and support their ability to act as pimps for the females,” he said.
Both suspects will be indicted in U.S. District Court in Fresno and prosecuted by the Office of United States Attorneys.
“The San Luis Obispo Police Department will not tolerate this behavior in our community and will continue to direct resources in a proactive manner to address this type of illegal activity,” Storton said.