Visalia Man Facing Federal Charges for Sex Trafficking Three Minors
Today, Tyrell Richmond, 31, of Visalia, was arrested at a residence in the Visalia area for allegedly trafficking three female minors. Richmond allegedly used force or fear to cause the three girls to engage in prostitution for his financial benefit.
The three victims were successfully recovered during an Operation Cross Country VIII undercover task force operation on June 21, 2014, in the Fresno area. According to the complaint, Richmond allegedly posted the three girls online and provided cell phones to them so they could be trafficked in Visalia and Fresno.
This arrest is the result of an investigation by the Fresno Child Exploitation Task Force comprised of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Fresno Police Department, with assistance from the Visalia Police Department.
Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative established in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), to address the growing problem of child prostitution.
Task force operations usually begin as local enforcement actions that target locations and websites based on intelligence gathered by officers working in their respective jurisdictions. Initial arrests are often violations of local and state laws relating to prostitution or solicitation. Information gleaned from those arrested frequently uncovers organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states. FBI agents, together with their task force partners, develop and investigate these violations. Upon completion of the investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office and the respective District Attorney’s Office collaborate to determine which court will have the most impact to deter further exploitation of our children.