Los Angeles News
2 Long Beach suspects accused of human trafficking
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Two Long Beach men have been taken into custody for allegedly kidnapping at least two women and forcing them into prostitution.
Lebrette Winn, 22, and Eric Avery, 24, face charges including human trafficking, pimping, pandering, mayhem, kidnapping and other charges relating to sexually based offenses.
Authorities say two women contacted the Hawthorne Police Department after escaping from a suspect who had kidnapped them in Long Beach and forced them into prostitution. They were able to escape while in Culver City, police said, and were able to make their way to Hawthorne.
"They were left alone momentarily, and they took advantage of it. They knew the risks, and it was time. They had enough," said Long Beach Police Lt. Dan Pratt.
Hawthorne police immediately contacted the Long Beach Police Department on May 15, which began an investigation.
One of the two victims had allegedly been held against her will for about four months.
Investigators say the women were forced to perform acts of prostitution throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. Police say while the girls were being held against their will in motels, the suspects used intimidation to make sure they stayed put.
The day after the women escaped, detectives were following the suspects while they were driving near the Long Beach Convention Center. Winn and Avery were pulled over for a traffic violation and then taken into custody.
The investigation into Winn and Avery led officers to a motel in Inglewood, where they found a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly working as a prostitute for them.
Avery faces two felony counts, and Winn faces nine felony counts. Both suspects will appear in Long Beach Superior Court on June 4 for a preliminary hearing.
Detectives believe that other victims may exist. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Long Beach Police Department's Vice Investigations Detail at (562) 570-7219.
arrest, sex crimes, long beach, los angeles news, sid garcia
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