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Learn More About Human Trafficking
Tremaine Smiler - Booking Photo

Tremaine Smiler was sentenced to 19 years in state prison in May 2012 for numerous sex crimes involving the forcible rape and sodomy of a teenaged girl and a 30-year-old woman. According to testimony from an Ontario police officer, the 30-year-old woman's lips were disfigured when Smiler burned her face with an electric iron.

California Map with San Bernardino County Highlighted

With an area of 20,105 square miles, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States by area. Two known prostitution tracks have plagued the area for years: Baseline Ave. in San Bernardino and Holt Blvd. that runs through Ontario, Montclair, and Pomona which is situated in Los Angeles County.

Human Trafficking is modern day slavery, and it is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. Ultimately, it deprives people of their human rights and freedoms by controlling them through force, fraud or coercion to exploit them through forced labor, sexual exploitation, or both.

It is important to make the distinction between Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking. Human Smuggling is a form of illegal migration involving the transport of a person across an international border, usually in exchange for a sum of money. It is generally a transaction between two willing parties who go their separate ways once their business is complete.

Unlike smuggling, though, Human Trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation or harboring of persons for the purpose of exploitation--typically in the sex industry or for forced labor--through fraud, force or coercion.

Identifying Human Trafficking

One of the difficult aspects of identifying victims of human trafficking is the underground nature of the crime itself fueled in part by the prevalence of the Internet and social media. For example, in 2012, 336 prostitution-related cases were filed in San Bernardino County, the majority of which were the result of proactive sting operations conducted by those agencies with known prostitution tracks in their jurisdiction (San Bernardino, Ontario and Montclair Police Departments).

This number includes those soliciting sex and those offering sexual services, but it's important to point out that it only denotes those who were caught and subsequently arrested. The number of pimping cases is even smaller. in 2012, only 16 cases related to pimping and pandering were filed. 

According to a 2009 National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking by Shared Hope International, children exploited through prostitution report they typically are given a quota by their trafficker/pimp of 10 to 15 buyers per night. Utilizing a conservative estimate, a domestic minor sex trafficking victim would be raped by 6,000 buyers during the course of her victimization through prostitution. The problem is bigger, though--much bigger.

The low risks and potential for high profits associated with trafficking are now steering criminals away from smuggling drugs and guns, which are generally riskier pursuits. According to California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, domestic and transnational gangs have expanded from trafficking guns and drugs to trafficking human beings.  The perpetrators of human trafficking have become more sophisticated and organized, requiring an equally sophisticated law enforcement response to disrupt and dismantle their networks.



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It is the mission of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office to represent the interests of the people in the criminal justice system, as mandated by California State law. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office serves the residents of San Bernardino County by: seeking the truth, protecting the innocent; holding the guilty accountable; preserving the dignity of victims and their families; and, ensuring that justice is done while always maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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