The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office has been actively investigating and prosecuting cases of human trafficking.
At the Tulare County Human Trafficking Taskforce meeting on June 22, the District Attorneys office shared that they have filed five cases against seven defendants in 2016. Additionally, one case filed in 2015 is in sentencing. The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office is also currently investigating two other sex trafficking cases involving minors.
On June 3, a Tulare man plead guilty to charges involving child sex trafficking. The TCDA’s Office sent out this release:
Today in Department 4 of the Tulare County Superior Court, Visalia Division, Judge Brett Aldredge presiding, Anthony Lott, age 24, of Tulare, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of human trafficking of minors for a sex act, two felony counts of pandering by procuring a minor over the age of 16, one felony count of pimping, one felony count of having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, and a misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle in a city limit.
On October 6, 2015 the Tulare Police Department was conducting a human trafficking operation at a local hotel. Officers observed a vehicle enter the parking lot of the hotel and saw a female exit the car while the male driver, Lott, remained in the car. The female offered an undercover officer sex in exchange for money. While Lott remained in the car, he was contacted by law enforcement and was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm.
Lott was arrested for pimping and having possession of a loaded firearm. After further investigation which was conducted by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations, Investigator Martha Rodriguez was able to make connections that Lott had trafficked two minors from the Tulare area between the dates of November 1, 2013 and November 1, 2014. With additional investigation by the Office of the District Attorney, on February 22, 2016, Lott was charged with two counts of human trafficking of a minor for a sex act and two counts of pandering by procuring a minor over the age of 16.
On June 29, 2016, Lott will be sentenced to 7 years 4 months state prison and will be ordered to register for life as a sex offender.
“I commend law enforcement for being diligent in this case and bringing justice to the victims,” said District Attorney Tim Ward. “Human trafficking is real, and it can happen in any community. If you suspect a person is being exploited for sex or labor, contact law enforcement immediately.”
The case was prosecuted by Supervising Deputy District Attorney Cindy Underwood of the Special Crimes Division. It was investigated by Officer Rosemarie Pacheco and Detective Vince Medina of the Tulare Police Department, as well as Investigator Martha Rodriguez of the Office of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.