Investigators with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Counter Human Trafficking Team conducted a proactive operation to rescue a potential human trafficking victim. The victim was pregnant, commercially sexually exploited, and controlled by a trafficker. Through an undercover prostitution sting, the female was contacted, and a male counterpart was identified as Anthony Richardson Gaines, 33 of Modesto.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, state zero bail policy, and further follow-up needed, the victim and Richardson Gaines were released.
After a follow-up investigation, the Counter Human Trafficking Investigators were able to secure an arrest warrant for Richardson Gaines for the crimes of human trafficking, pimping, and a prison prior enhancement. On Aug 18, 2020, with the Modesto Police Department Investigations Division’s assistance and the non-profit organization DeliverFund, Richardson Gaines was taken into custody in Modesto, CA, and subsequently extradited and booked in the San Luis Obispo County Jail.
The Sheriff’s Counter Human Trafficking Team is a partnership between the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations, and the District Attorney’s Victim Witness Division. The Counter Human Trafficking Team primarily targets human trafficking victims, sexual exploitation, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The Counter Human Trafficking Team has been operational since January 2020 and has focused its attention on proactively targeting traffickers who sexually exploit victims, sex purchasers who drive demand and providing resources to exploitation victims. In addition to proactive investigations, the Counter Human Trafficking Team provides training to law enforcement and a wide variety of community partners.