During the months of July 2020 through September 2020, detectives with the Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Special Crimes Unit received information that an adult male was communicating with who he believed was a 17 year old juvenile female and a 15 year old juvenile female in Ventura County, via a social media platform, in an attempt to lure the juveniles into sending pictures with sexual content for payment and to engage in sexual intercourse.

Through the investigation, detectives identified suspect Bryan Cervantes as the adult male who was propositioning the juveniles. On September 17, 2020, a search warrant was served at Bryan Cervantes’ residence and he was arrested for California Penal Code 288.3(a) [Luring a minor for sexual purposes]. Bryan Cervantes was arrested and booked at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura.

With more juveniles than ever being at home during the pandemic, they are more vulnerable to being contacted via social media platforms by adult predators and traffickers. Parents and caregivers should monitor your juvenile’s social media profiles to ensure they are not being victimized. Parents should contact law enforcement if they locate evidence of explicit communication on their child’s electronic device.

The Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force is a task force made up of members from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, Ventura Police Department, Santa Paula Police Department, Simi Valley Police Department, Oxnard Police.

Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, California Department of Justice, and several victim service providers. The primary mission of the task force is combatting the fight against sex and/or labor trafficking of humans within Ventura County.

The Ventura County Task force works closely with surrounding cities and counties to fulfill our mission. Detectives encourage victims to contact “211” or local law enforcement if you believe you are victim or know a victim of human trafficking to be connected with services.