SAN DIEGO — On June 20, 2016, California Attorney General Kamala Harris thanked Department of Justice special agents and assisting law enforcement officers for their work involving "Operation Hotel Tango," an investigation that lead to the arrests of three people suspected of sex trafficking in San Diego.
“Human traffickers exploit vulnerable children and adults, subjecting their victims to manipulation, violence, and unspeakable cruelty while forcing them into labor and prostitution,” said Attorney General Kamala Harris. “I thank our law enforcement partners in the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and our California Department of Justice special agents for working diligently and collaboratively to protect victims of trafficking and hold accountable those who profit from the insidious crime of human trafficking.”
Tyrone Evans, 40, was arrested and charged on 22 felony counts of human trafficking, pimping and pandering. Lila Leflorsm, 36, and Natasha McElrath, 37, were also arrested in connection with the operation and are suspected of using social media to recruit teenage women and negotiate transactions.
Through the investigation, law enforcement discovered that Tyrone Evans was involved in the sex trafficking of several women in San Diego County and across the country. Evans utilized social media websites to recruit and exploit his human trafficking victims.
"Any form of human trafficking is appalling and much of it goes unnoticed by the public," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). " It takes place every minute, every hour, every day throughout California and this country. It takes investigations like 'Operation Hotel Tango" to rescue victims and arrest the traffickers."
“Operation Hotel Tango,” was conducted by the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes the California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, Chula Vista Police Department, Coronado Police Department, Escondido Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Internal Revenue Service, La Mesa Police Department, Oceanside Police Department, San Diego City Attorney's Office, San Diego County District Attorney's Office, San Diego County Probation Department, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Diego Police Department, U.S. Attorney's Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Marshals Service.