SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Thirteen sex buyers were arrested in an operation targeting the sex trafficking industry in San Diego County.
The San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and National City Police Department targeted San Diego County sex buyers in the region on Friday.
"Operation Big Bad John" was described as a "large-scale undercover operation" conducted by more than 75 law enforcement officers, resulting in the arrest of 13 sex buyers.
More than 17 grams of methamphetamine and several ecstasy pills were also seized during the operation.
"Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where perpetrators profit from the control and exploitation of men, women, and children through force, fraud, or coercion for sex, labor or both," San Diego Sheriff's Sgt. Matt Blumenthal said in a release.
"Human trafficking is a crime under U.S. federal law and California state law. It is also the biggest human rights violation of our time."
Last May, 10News reported the National Human Trafficking Resource Center found reporting was up in San Diego 27 percent in the last half of 2016, compared to the rest of the country which was only up .08 percent.
A three-year study in San Diego by Point Loma Nazarene and the University of San Diego also found of the 20 San Diego schools surveyed, 90 percent of those schools had girls who were sex trafficked.