158 arrests lead to California underground party, sex trafficking victim rescued

More than 150 people were arrested and a victim of a juvenile sex trade was rescued after Los Angeles County authorities shut down a huge underground party.

Deputies smashed the party on Saturday night in a vacant home in Palmdale, northeast of Los Angeles.

Alex Villanueva, the county sheriff of Los Angeles, told a news conference Tuesday that organizers broke into the home and moved their party gear in a rented truck.

“This operation was so reckless,” Villanueva said, calling the party a “party call” event that could become a “deadly source of infection” during a coronavirus epidemic.

“As you can see, this was a gross violation of the governor’s medical order. But please also understand that these actions were criminal in nature even without the medical order.”

Authorities arrested 158 people at the party, including 35 juveniles. A 17-year-old girl, whom Villanueva called a “commercially sexually exploited child,” was rescued from home. Six weapons were also found.

Villanueva said the class has received information that the party will take place. Authorities are following other large gatherings, he said.

“If we had taken the usual approach, the party would have been smashed earlier, the same victim would have been taken to the next location, so that actually saved him from that,” Villanueva said at a news conference. – They would have passed me to the next party.

A few days before the gathering, Governor Gavin Newsom introduced a new regional home order requiring bars, wineries, hairdressers and other non-essential businesses to close for three weeks if a region’s intensive supply capacity falls below 15 per cent.

According to NBC News, California has had one of the most significant new Covid-19 falls in the country in recent weeks.