Crime

Human Trafficking Suspect Arrested

By Aaron Blevins, 12/29/2011

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A Los Angeles man has been arrested for sexual assault of a minor, following a criminal investigation initiated earlier this year by a multi-agency task force.

Michael Vincent Pree, of Los Angeles, allegedly forced a minor to have sexual intercourse with him on several occasions and forced the victim to work as a prostitute. On Dec. 22, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the investigation and filed numerous criminal charges, including aggravated sexual assault of a minor, pimping/pandering and multiple counts of lewd acts upon a child.

The victim, who was under the age of 12, was allegedly contacted by the suspect, who identified himself as Pree. According to law enforcement officials, Pree took the victim to his residence and forced her to engage in sexual intercourse with him on numerous occasions over the course of one week. Additionally, Pree forced the victim to work as a street-walking prostitute over the course of the same week.

On Dec. 21, investigative personnel assigned to the Los Angeles Innocence Lost Task Force arrested Pree and served a search warrant at his residence. Additional evidence linking Pree to his criminal enterprise was discovered and booked into evidence for future court proceedings.

The Innocence Lost Task Force is a multi agency operation, which includes the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’ Office and the Department of Homeland Security.

The arrest of Pree was the result of an ongoing investigation by the Los Angeles Innocence Lost Task Force, in support of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative. The task force was formed to address the growing problem of the commercial and sexual exploitation of children through prostitution in the United States.

The initiative has resulted in the development of 44 dedicated task forces and working groups throughout the United States, involving federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. To date, these groups have worked successfully to rescue more than 1,800 children, and have successfully led to the conviction of more than 800 pimps, madams and their associates who exploit children through prostitution.

These convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including multiple life sentences, as well as the seizure of real property, vehicles and monetary assets. All of the victims in these crimes were under the age of 18.

The Pree investigation is ongoing. Anyone with further information regarding this matter is asked to call the Innocence Lost Task Force Hotline at (800)655-4095. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to (877)527-3247. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800)222-8477.

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