California Couple Arrested for Trafficking Minors for Alleged Prostitution

According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, a husband and wife were detained on Sunday allegedly for sex trafficking two 17-year-old girls.

Around 8 p.m., officials said a sheriff’s officer was patrolling North Highlands’s Watt Avenue and Winona Way when he saw two young females wearing lingerie close to a vehicle. The sheriff’s office reported the deputy spoke with both girls and found they were victims of sex trafficking.

Later revealed as 46-year-old John Cheso and 35-year-old Shannon Powell, officials said police discovered the two girls were being trafficked by family friends. The sheriff’s office reported the girls called Cheso and Powell their “street parents.”

“It’s quite rare that we can go from contacting a victim to arresting their pimp like that,” Sgt. Amar Gandhi remarked. “That’s was really significant about this case.”

Arrested on felony human trafficking allegations were Cheso and Powell.

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According to the sheriff’s office, both remain in jail on Monday and are held on a $2 million bail. Cheso is expected to show up in court on June 26. Powell is expected to show up in court on June 25; her bond is $1 million.

Detectives speculate there might be more victims of sex trafficking. Anyone with pertinent information is advised to call the sheriff’s office at 916-874-5115.

According to the sheriff’s office, the deputy who discovered the two victims had recently saved another young child also subjected to sex trafficking.

KCRA reported that on Monday victim advocate Leia Schenk said city and county officials should do more to give comprehensive, 24-hour assistance to victims to guarantee they have a secure place to remain in the hours and days following off the street.

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