HANFORD — An undercover sting operation conducted to try to locate juveniles involved in human trafficking instead led to the arrest of six women and one man on suspicion of prostitution and drug-related offenses, Hanford Police said.
Authorities said Lyric Conley, 20, Vanessa Lopez, 31, Sarena Tabares, 33, and Brandi Young were taken into custody on suspicion of prostitution and Willie Smith, 41, Jacqueline Canela, 21, and Kinessa Moore were taken into custody on suspicion of assisting/supporting activities involving prostitution.
Canela was also arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance.
The Hanford Police Department said on Oct. 13, officers teamed up with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct an undercover sting operation regarding human trafficking in Hanford.
Police said the operation was to try to locate juveniles involved in human trafficking. Though the operation did not locate any juveniles, officials said the seven adults were taken into custody for the prostitution and drug-related offenses.
Officers said advocates from Kings County Victim Witness and Central Valley Against Human Trafficking were also on hand to talk to the women and explain options on how to get out of a life of prostitution.
If you suspect someone is involved in human trafficking, Hanford Police Department urges you to contact your local law enforcement.