OC Human Trafficking Statistics and Awareness Campaign Unveiled at OCTA Headquarters

Categories: Crime-iny


The Orange County Transportation Authority is, of course, all about the traffic, but the trafficking that's the focus of OCTA's "Be The One" public awareness campaign that was unveiled Wednesday morning is the human kind.

The agency, which serves about 1 million passengers annually, announced its buses are getting the wrap-around ad shown above and its coach operators are being trained to spot human traffickers and assist victims.

Plans are afoot to have the wrap-around ads on all buses--with a phone number members of the public can call to report trouble, according to OCTA spokesman Joel Zlotnik, who added drivers already have the ability to contact law enforcement via onboard radios.

The ad and campaign were unveiled at a morning press conference at OCTA's Orange headquarters that was attended by several local officials, including pretty much the brain trust of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, which is composed of law enforcement, non-profit agencies, victim service providers, faith-based groups and, yes, even the transportation agency.

Among those present were Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who is also an OCTA board member; Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada, whose department has been fighting human trafficking for years; Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, whose department is part of the task force; and Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who created a unit to prosecute pimps and whose office is also a task force member.

The nonprofit Community Service Programs' Lita Mercado presented key findings from the 2014 Human Trafficking Victim Report, including:

  • The number of perpetrators of human trafficking crimes in Orange County doubled between 2011 and 2013.
  • On average, eight new human trafficking victims are identified each month in Orange County and nearly half of all victims are minors.
  • The perpetrators tend to be in their 20s and half the victims were teens or younger.
  • About 65 percent of human trafficking victims are U.S. citizens.
  • Countries of origin for the rest are generally Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea, China, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam, also investigators are seeing some victims from Iran, Kenya and North Korea.
  • Not all of the victims come from dysfunctional families or have had difficult childhoods, providing that smooth-talking pimps can even seduce those with stable upbringings.
  • In 2013, 28 women and eight men were victims of "labor trafficking," while 177 females, one male and one transgender person were sex-trafficking victims in OC.
  • That year, 35 of the labor-trafficking victims were adults and one was a child; 116 of the victims of prostitution were adults and 63 were children.
  • There were 52 human trafficking related arrests from which 48 were prosecuted in 2013. In 2012, there were 37 arrests and 33 were prosecuted, and the year before that there were 24 arrests and all were prosecuted.

Rackauckas explained it will take a vast community effort to wipe out the problem.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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Miguel Garcia
Miguel Garcia

Scum walks in nice places too. Anyone surprised? They're behaving like lower class, sheesh.. (as class division crumbles).

Josh Gibson
Josh Gibson

Jack Edinger we were talking about this the other day

Otis Denim
Otis Denim

So did the Orange County population .

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

like the drug trade

this is another Leftist underground economy so "Even those (socalled) freedom loving dems , you know

the ones who never legalized pot even when they controlled the power

will put on that "outraged" act

why wont Dems do like they claim about

womens body womens choice?

oh, holla all you want that this is about 

"trafficking" and not prostitution 

but save the lies for the family dramas

they are being combined, but like race

dems dont want THAT SPOKEN of

human trafficking is a shame and needs to be stopped

but the dems are in a quandry over it

do they end up sounding "too conservative" when this subject bleeds over to females that want to be prostitutes

that its easy money

that they dont have or dont want to go to school

etc etc

as they direct girls busted  for prostitution to the advantages of claiming they are being trafficked 

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter


thats right, obama

he is allowing in thousands of people 

and while some will in fact be good people

many will not

more blood on the hands of dems


Here's what you need to know.  Most pimps are young Black men or middle aged Korean women.  But that's an inconvenient truth that we'll just ignore so no one gets offended.

paullucas714 topcommenter

Other than the ad on the bus to get more public awareness, how is the OCTA a factor in human trafficking? 


they should be holding meetings about how corrupt oc law enforcement is.

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter


There is a huge difference between one consenting adult paying another consenting adult for sexual favors and human trafficking. What one does with their own body by choice is their business but being forced into prostitution is a completely different ballgame..especially when the person in question is a child.

MatthewTCoker topcommenter

@paullucas714 Pimps recruit runaways from bus stations, although they are usually Greyhound stations.

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle @sweetliberty17761776

hmmm let see:

you can go to jail for hooking

or say you were forced ( which then supports the anti traffickers)



( which of course can also mean you use us and then go back to your old ways)

so , yeah, fish,

I can see why you wouldnt agree WITH THAT

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@sweetliberty17761776 @fishwithoutbicycle 

If the threat of jail were off the table I'm certain more people who wanted to leave the life would ask for help. But it seems you are claiming that because a few people lie about being forced into the life we shouldn't believe anyone who claims they had no choice and just throw them in jail? How is that going to help anyone?

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