Operation Stolen Hearts was a joint effort by the Fresno Police Department and Department of Homeland Security Investigations that aimed to bring down sex traffickers as well as the sexual predators seeking to pay for sex with children.
Fresno police say they collaborated with a local rescue group, Breaking the Chains, to offer shelter and other services to the women and girls.
Detectives went undercover and infiltrated websites commonly used to contact people who want to have sex with a minor, police say.
Those arrested are facing prostitution-related charges, including contacting a minor with intent to commit a sex offense, aiding prostitution, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes and solicitation of acts of prostitution.
If you believe anyone you know is a victim of sex trafficking or exploitation, you are urged to contact local law enforcement or Breaking the Chains directly at 888- 858-2021 or at www.btcfresno.org for help.