Sacramento man arrested for trafficking victims as young as 14

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james powell
James Powell, 31, was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking after an investigation into the whereabouts of a missing Citrus Heights teen led detectives to the discovery of several victims in the Camarillo area. Powell was booked into the Ventura County jail and his bail was set at $510,000. Ventura County Sheriff's Department

James Powell was arrested and charged with human trafficking after investigators said he forced multiple victims – including a minor 14 years of age – into prostitution.

Police were attempting to locate the 14-year-old runaway when they found photos of her in ads soliciting for prostitution. Deputies eventually located her at a hotel, with two other victims, ages 17 and 22.  Powell, they said, had other victims as well, who were not at the hotel at the time.

One of the unaccounted for victims was located the next day in Sacramento, and the final woman being sought was found with Powell when he attempted to check into a hotel in Manhattan Beach.

Powell was charged with causing, inducing and persuading a minor to engage in a commercial sex act and two charges of human trafficking.