CHICAGO — An anti-human trafficking operation spearheaded by the Illinois State Police (ISP) has landed six people behind bars this week.
Officials say the human trafficking suppression operation was conducted in the Will County area between Oct. 25 and 26, and led by the ISP Division of Criminal Investigation Trafficking Enforcement Bureau.
Authorities provided the following list of individuals arrested, all of whom have been charged with indecent solicitation of a minor and traveling to meet a minor:
- 31-year-old Enrique Garcia, of Chicago, Illinois.
- 56-year-old Mario Lucas Garcia, of Joliet, Illinois.
- 27-year-old Carlos Mejia, of Chicago, Illinois.
- 56-year-old Raymond Peterson, of Lockport, Illinois.
- 55-year-old Ismael Ruiz, of Bolingbrook, Illinois.
- 63-year-old Yousef Saad, of Lombard, Illinois.
According to ISP, the operation, which focused on “identifying individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors,” is part of a multifaceted approach by the department to bring human trafficking in the state to an end.
“ISP is increasing its efforts to protect those who are vulnerable to human trafficking, forced labor, and sexual servitude,” ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly said in a press release sent out on Friday afternoon. “ISP conducted a similar operation in Springfield in which eight people in the Springfield area were arrested. Anyone who thinks about feeding the demand for human trafficking should know that ISP could be waiting behind a door for them with handcuffs.”
ISP officials say anyone who may suspect human trafficking can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373- 7888 or text *233733. Tips for authorities can also be submitted by email at ISP.Crime.Tips@illinois.gov.