ONTARIO – Two female suspects were arrested for the human trafficking of a Highland teen on Wednesday.
The San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force initiated an investigation into a female juvenile possibly being trafficked in a City of Ontario motel in 1000 block of W. Mission Blvd. Investigators were able to locate an online ad where the victim was being advertised for prostitution. After further investigation, the victim was identified as a 17-year-old Highland girl who was located in the 26000 block of Cypress Avenue in the City of Highland.
A search warrant was obtained for the apartment and surveillance was set up to gather additional evidence. The female juvenile was seen walking with an unknown male juvenile. San Bernardino City Unified School Police assisted in the investigation and detained the juveniles. Both juveniles were transported to the apartment. “While at the apartment, investigators contacted and detained Stephanie (40) and Sheila Hill (44),” Sheriff’s officials said. “As a result of information obtained and evidence located at the scene, Stephanie, Sheila, and the two juveniles were transported to the Highland Police Station for additional questioning.”
The female juvenile was confirmed to be the victim and the male juvenile was determined to not be involved in the investigation. The male juvenile was released to his mother following the interview. Stephanie and Sheila were determined to be involved in supporting, encouraging, and profiting from the prostitution of the victim.
The victim was given access to support services and placed into the custody of Child and Family Services. It was determined that a 15-year-old girl who also lived at the apartment. She was not home at the time but was later placed in the custody of Child and Family Services. Her involvement as a possible victim has not been determined at this time.
Both suspects were booked into the Central Detention Center for felony charges of Pimping, Pandering and Human Trafficking of a Minor and are being held in lieu of $150,000.
The San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force is made up of investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, San Bernardino Police Department, Ontario Police Department, San Bernardino Unified School District Police, California State Parole, Office of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This investigation is ongoing. Investigators believe there are other unidentified victims related to this case and are asking that anyone with information related to this investigation, please contact the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force at (909)387-8400. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME or you may leave information on the WE-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.
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