Man pleads no contest in Oakland human trafficking case involving 14-year-old girl

Eric Thomas Image
ByEric Thomas KGO logo
Friday, December 27, 2019
Man pleads guilty in Oakland human trafficking case involving teen
A 37-year-old man has pleaded guilty in a human trafficking case out of Oakland. The victim was a fourteen-year-old girl.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A 37-year-old man has pled no contest in a human trafficking case out of Oakland.

The victim was a 14-year-old girl.

It's one victory in a never-ending war against the sexual exploitation of young people.

"Unfortunately it is an epidemic," said Lt. James Beere, who heads the Oakland Police Department's Special Victim's detail.

They found the victim back in March during an undercover sting along the city's notorious International Boulevard, an area known for prostitution.

RELATED: New California laws 2020: Motel and hotel staff to be trained to identify victims of human trafficking

Further investigation led to a suspect named Joshua Johnson.

Folks who live and work along International Boulevard say they see prostitutes of all ages working day and night.

"I think they need more police patrols," said Warren Brown, who lives in the area.

The FBI says if you include Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, the Bay Area is the third busiest human trafficking corridor in the country. And it's position on the West Coast makes it an ideal hub to bring in exploited children from overseas.

Police work so many of these cases nowadays that it wears on them psychologically.

"After experiencing a number of these investigations it's a traumatic experience for the officers as well as obviously the victims," said Lt. Beere.

Police say in this case they found text messages implicating Johnson in human trafficking. This month, he pled no contest to the pandering of a child under 16, was sentenced to eight years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender.