tv Sex Slaves Oakland MSNBC December 25, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
on the streets of oakland, california and all across america, good kids are going bad. >> every major city has a place where the girls can be found. >> that's one right there. >> i've seen them as young as, you know, 12 years old. >> they're the young and the lost, the runaways. the survivors of child sexual abuse, forced into the service of johns and pimps. >> we're talking about american children being bought and sold by american men in epidemic proportions around the country. >> today all it takes is the click of a mouse to send our most vulnerable kids into an underworld of degradation, drugs, and despair. >> you're missing me off.
get the -- do you want me to break your camera? >> it's a career that's like the pits of hell. >> all right. this dude is actually exposed right now. >> tonight msnbc goes undercover with oakland's human trafficking task force as they battle to rescue the young and the lost. and turn the tables on the johns and the pimps that take advantage of america's children. >> what's going on? i'm on tv. ♪ just across the bay from the glitter of san francisco lies the rough-and-tumble port city of oakland. with ships and cargo constantly coming and going, blue-collar oaktown has become a hot spot
for a different sort of trade. human trafficking. >> arrest teams. two girls westbound. >> oakland, california has unfortunately been identified by the fbi as a hub for human trafficking and specifically the sexual exploitation of children. >> sergeant holly joshi is part of the oakland police department's human trafficking task force. >> the fact that we've been identified by the fbi as a hub is very disturbing to all of us in this city. and even though we do have budget challenges, we have made it a priority to, you know, get out there and run these operations on a weekly basis. >> we just kind of combine resources to get by. >> sergeant jim saleit is a veteran cop with some 20 years working the streets of oakland. >> every major city has a place where the girls can be found. >> in oakland many of the girls can be found here, on a desperate two-mile stretch of international boulevard known simply as the track. >> she's getting in. mark, he's going to go eastbound. >> the track's an area known for
prostitutes to ply their trade. customers know to go there to get certain types of girls. >> female, black, long braids. >> i've seen them as young as 12 years old. >> all right. let's get it going, sammy. >> sergeant roland holmgren commands a tactical unit recently charged with cleaning up the track. >> imagine if it was somebody who you cared about, who was forced into that type of lifestyle. and then imagine if that was your neighborhood. imagine all the deterioration that that type of element brings from this type of activity in this specific community. it completely deteriorates it and brings it down. >> as many of you know, we've been battling prostitution in oakland for a while. >> today the task force is hitting the track, conducting an undercover sting operation in the hopes of rescuing juveniles and punishing the pimps who exploit them. >> so we've got sammy. sammy's going to be in a gold ford windstar. >> we have undercover officers that are going to be out in the areas that we know that are high in illegal sexual activity.
so they'll go out there. they'll try to make contact with the girls, try to solicit some sort of sexual act from them, and then arrest teams will come in and actually arrest them. >> 14th av to 23rd av for this operation. 14th av to 23rd av. >> down this way, this is a more popular area for the teenagers, 20s, typically your younger prostitute. >> jason skirtland is a veteran undercover officer for oakland p.d.'s trafficking unit. he says targeting the working girls is necessary to get to the pimps that exploit them. >> it can be unfortunate that the girls have to go to jail. i mean, our main objective is to target the pimps. and we don't get to the pimps without going through a girl first. >> arrest teams copy, got a possible in 17th. >> she's getting in the vehicle. >> less than 10 minutes into their operation the undercovers get their first nibble.
with the first woman in custody, it only takes the team a few minutes to zero in on another. >> she's walking to my car. 1400 block at 21st. >> female, black jacket, purple dress. she's getting in. >> on move, signal given. >> right here, right here. >> the undercover vehicle is stopped by the arrest team and the woman is cuffed for prostitution. >> i didn't say nothing. >> a quick search of the woman's belongings reveals a handful of items that are sadly all too common out on the track. >> crack pipe. it's a poker that they use to scrape the residue off of the actual pipe so they can get more of the crack. condoms. typical stuff. >> i did not solicit him. >> is that your crack pipe? are those your condoms? >> those are my condoms. >> that's your crack pipe? >> that's not in my possession. >> that crack pipe just got pulled out of your coat. >> yes, but my coat, my sister had it on earlier. that's not mine.
i do it but i ain't have nothing all day. >> okay. >> officer, i did not do anything. i did not solicit him at all. >> police carefully document the evidence and then move on. >> all right. female, black, white jacket, blue jeans. >> coming up there. copy. arrest teams copy. this is going to be a swoop. >> you can pop out and film this one. >> this young woman is done for the night but not before offering police a living, breathing reminder of exactly what it is that they are trying to accomplish out here on the track. >> what are you recording me for? can you get them out of my face? >> right now light is being shed on this issue perhaps for the first time. >> alameda county prosecutor charmaine bach says operations like these are not about harassing girls, they're all about raising public awareness
to the growing problem of domestic trafficking. >> it's about really throwing the door wide open so people can see what is going on on the street corner every day. we're talking about american children being bought and sold by american men in epidemic proportions throughout our country. >> be cooperative, and you know how this works, right? >> yeah. i've got to go to jail? >> and so many people think that this is something that only happens in third world countries or with women and children coming over in shipping containers from the far east. but you know, if you open your eyes and actually look at what you see throughout the bay area on the street corner, those are kids. those are our kids. >> up next, face to face with a vicious, neverending cycle of drugs and despair out on the track of oakland. >> do you want to explain what happened at all? >> wrong choices, wrong decisions. ugh, my sinus congestion,
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officers with the oakland police department's human trafficking task force are out on the city's notorious prostitution track conducting undercover stings. >> so we've been out here about 40, 45 minutes. within about a five-block radius four arrests within a short period of time. it's the type of activity that's going on here. >> 21-year-old kekia moore is no stranger to the oakland p.d. it's tough to figure out how this well-educated, articulated young sacramento nateive ended up trolling international boulevard. but being arrested is nothing new for her. >> be cooperative and you know how this works, right? >> i have to go to jail. >> how many did you do last time? >> too many hours. it was eight -- it was too many.
>> the teen rings up a quick string of arrests but it doesn't take long for word of a sting to travel up and down the track and scare off other women. >> she's looking back. she's probably spooked from the other swoop. >> police recognize this pair from a previous operation, but they refuse to take the bait tonight. >> no play. called me a cop. and they're still walking westbound. >> they might see one of their friends or a girl they're familiar with get picked up and in the distance see a couple police cars go by real quick all of a sudden, and it's just kind of -- you know, they have their -- you know, their little -- their little radar going. they also have that phone starts buzzing when other girls see their friends getting picked up. and word travels pretty quick. so. >> she's not -- she's messing up our game. she's talking to everyone. >> that's the same girl you tried to hit up before, right? you said it was good for 653. >> yeah, she's good for 653 for sure. >> a 653 is a simple loitering
charge, but that will be enough for police to scoop up these two before they blow the cover off the whole operation. >> when you get somebody like that and she's going to tell every single working girl out here watch out for the police out here, there's undercover cops out here kind of thing -- >> hey, look, they're still down there. i'll go ahead and direct them if you want to arrest them and pick them both up. they're still together. >> the pair are transported to a nearby substation, where they flow into the larger pool of women already swept up in tonight's operation. >> step on in. watch your head. >> you're pissing me off. get the -- do you want me to break your camera? >> their moods run the gamut from defiant to downright distraught. >> please. >> walk up there. watch your head. watch your head. >> please don't. please. don't do this. >> you can have this for fresh air. >> officer, i didn't even do nothing.
only thing i did was get in a car. it's not fair. all i did was get in the car. >> all right. call it as you see it. let's go. >> meanwhile, the sting team rolls to the west side of town. there conditions seem even more desperate. >> a lot of times the prostitutes that are associated with this particular area are known or have known drug users and have some sort of addiction. >> making the stop. 22. 21. making the stop right now. >> put your hand behind your back. >> don't. >> relax. come on. >> god. >> here in what's known as the san pablo corridor, many of the women working the streets are older, addicted to drugs, and often available for as little as $20. >> code four, in custody. move on. there's a few others out there. female black.
she's wearing a white usa basketball jersey. >> okay, guys. i'm going to pick her up. off and in. she's coming to the car. >> the cop saying one on board. arrest team stand by for the signal. >> all right. the swoop has been given. >> just relax. >> basketball? >> yeah. >> 46-year-old lamar anderson is sadly typical of the women working the streets in this down and out stretch of oakland. >> what kind of drugs do you use? >> coke. >> that's bad for you. >> i know. >> you see the girl that is the 50-year-old drug addict turning tricks to buy another rock. if you look back at her life and find out where this all started, you kind of start seeing there was actually probably a fair amount of abuse. you want to try to get to these girls before it gets to that point. >> do you want to explain what
happened at all? >> wrong choices, wrong decisions. >> a lot of these girls didn't just wake up one day and decide, hey, i want to be a prostitute and i want to hook up with 10, 15 dudes, get raped and beat up every other week for a few bucks. a lot of these girls get started young. they come from broken families. and they're looking for that love, for that attention, somebody that's going to make them feel like they actually matter. and they end up finding it kind of in the arms of some fast-talking pimp. and it doesn't take a pimp long to take a girl that's never done anything wrong in her life, to have her convinced that turning tricks on the street corner or on the internet at the age of 12 or 13 is perfectly fine because he loves you and, you know, you're doing it because he promises to build a life with you. and it's something that they've
missed, that they've probably never had or their own family was too abusive and they're looking for someone that will take care of them. >> hey, guys. you want to give her a shot? she's ready. >> in the day's dying light, the team finally finds what they've looking for. >> female black with a blue dress. >> a very young-looking female working the corner of brockhurst and san pablo. >> yeah, she's in the vehicle. she's in the vehicle, still working. >> he's giving a signal already. he's going eastbound on brockhurst back toward market. he'll be pulling right out on you. >> copy. >> the swoop signal is given and the team makes their ninth arrest of the night. this case turns out to be a little more urgent than the others. >> i'm 17. i'm not doing anything wrong. you can call my folks. say i'm on the way home. >> a 17-year-old we'll call kelly is exactly the sort of girl that police in oakland and human trafficking task forces all across the country are
trying to reach and rescue before it's too late. >> what school are you going to right now? >> i'm not in school. >> you're not in school? >> no. [ crying ] >> all that police can really do for kelly tonight is get her off the streets and connect her with social service agencies that specializes in rescuing young girls from pimps and prostitution. >> many of them are looking for love in all the wrong places. you are more susceptible to this if you have no idea whatsoever what love looks like. and if you think at end of the day if you want to have that sense of belonging maybe he's right, maybe you have to have sex with 10 or 15 guys so you can have a mcdonald's happy meal frankly at the end of the day. and to them they think that's what love is. it's up to us to show them that's not the case.
>> coming up, a young girl's search for love leads her right into the arms of a romeo pimp. >> wow, how foolish could i have been? slip-on's the way to go. more people do that, security would be like -- there's no charge for the bag. thanks. i know a quiet little place where we can get some work done. there's a three-prong plug. i have club passes. [ male announcer ] now there's a mileage card that offers special perks on united, like a free checked bag, united club passes, and priority boarding. thanks. ♪ okay. what's your secret? ♪ [ male announcer ] the new united mileageplus explorer card. get it and you're in.
today on the streets of cities big and small all across america, the fbi estimates that one in five of those picked up for prostitution is an underage child. >> most people when they hear human trafficking, they think of it as purely an international issue. you know, that doesn't happen here. >> illinois state's attorney anita alvarez is lead prosecutor for the cook county human trafficking task force. >> and i think the public, we need to be more aware of yes, it does happen here, it is happening in our own back yard. >> increasingly, the business of sex for sale is moving off street corners like the track in oakland and onto the internet. >> who's going on little barbie? you? >> with profits in the millions alvarez says selling juveniles online is relatively low-risk
nearly anonymous crime for the numerous syndicates that traffic in american children. >> i was just calling to see if i could get some company. you'll come to my hotel, right? >> it is frustrating because it's so easy. and when it's out there on the internet on all these websites, it's just so quickly being able to pull it up on the computer, it's frustrating. >> even more frustrating, says alvarez, is the growing number of good kids from loving american families that are bought and sold online. >> and it was extremely easy. i mean, you take pictures, write a few words, and there you have it. >> meet raleigh, a former straight-a honor student who at 17 found herself being sold for sex online. >> oh, i would say in a day i would make about $2,000. or more. depending on the day. >> for nearly a year raleigh was trapped in a vicious cycle of sex for sale, orchestrated by a
19-year-old man she thought was the love of her life. >> i felt bad doing it. when i was in the act, i felt like why am i doing? all i kept thinking in my head is i can't wait till this is over. >> too many people out there. >> prior to raleigh getting involved, i'll be honest with you, my whole view of what prostitution was about was the fact that, you know, hey, that's their problem. you know. but then it became my problem. >> raleigh's mother, jean, watched her daughter go from a standout middle school student to a rebellious runaway teen she couldn't control. >> it's really hard as a parent at one point to know when you go to bed at night your kid is laying in the bed. you know, you know that they're there. and then at another point you don't know where they are. >> raleigh and jean's story offers a rare and candid look at
just how easily good kids can wind up in bad places and fall prey to those who traffic lost and troubled young children. >> it was basically her and i growing up. she was a good kid. i mean, she did the average stuff. she was active. >> jean was a single mom, working hard to give her daughter a leg up in life. but unfortunately, she could not protect her child from a sexual predator. >> i was sexually abused four times by the time i was 10. >> the first assault took place while 9-year-old raleigh was attending church. there in the back bathroom raleigh says she was raped by a teenage boy from the congregation. >> it was before church started, right before sunday school. he came in the bathroom, picked me up against the sink and just like ripped my panties off and just held my mouth and did what he had to do.
>> raleigh says that she was so frightened by what happened that she never told anyone at the time, not even her mother. >> no. what could i say? i was afraid because the setting was church. i did something wrong. i felt like i was going to be blamed. >> like many sexually abused children, raleigh felt she was the guilty one. and with each subsequent assault, the little girl tumbled deeper and deeper into a bottomless well of shame, silence and isolation. >> i felt unloved. i was being sexually abused by people that i knew and feeling like it's your fault when it really isn't your fault makes it worse. >> she would have fits where she would cry in class. and she cried and sat at her desk and just continued to ball up sheet of paper after sheet of paper. >> jean admits there were a number of clues that something was wrong with raleigh.
but at the time she failed to recognize the real cause of her daughter's darkening temper. >> she would become really angry, and just so angry to the point that she wasn't voicing -- or really maybe being so young, didn't really know how to put into words what she was feeling. >> you're 9 years old. you shouldn't know anything about sex. and if it's continuously happening to you like it was to me, you start to feel like what are you good for, what are you here for? i sometimes used to ask myself in the mirror, why am i here? >> with the lines of communication down, mother and daughter started drifting dangerously apart. soon raleigh began to look elsewhere for what she felt she could no longer find at home. >> as a parent i blame myself. i blame myself for putting her in the situation and not knowing. i blame myself for not being there for her. you know, because that's to me know what's going on, and to make it right.
msnbc now. i'm richard lui. spending time with their grandfather philip following his heart procedure. queen elizabeth's husband had surgery to clear a blocked artery. texas police are investigating the shooting deaths of seven people at a dallas-area apartment complex. authorities believe the shooter is among the four women and three men killed on christmas morning. we'll have more news for you later. now back to "msnbc undercover." take a ride on any
prostitution track in any big city in america and you'll see waves of young women trading their bodies for quick cash. but what you don't see is the pain and despair burning inside many of these girls who are often coping with the fallout from child sexual abuse. >> i was sexually abused four times by the time i was 10. >> like many of the women and young girls forced to strip or perform sex acts for money, raleigh was a good kid whose innocent childhood was suddenly cut short by sexual abuse. >> if it's continuously happening to you like it was to me, you start to feel like what are you good for, what are you here for? i sometimes used to ask myself in the mirror, why am i here? >> she started ditching school. her grades sunk. >> raleigh's mother, jean, reached her wit's end as she watched her daughter's young
life go off the rails in high school. >> her and i had had several altercations, physical altercations, because she was extremely disrespectful, cursing. the police came to my house so much one cop told me, he says, you live on a pretty quiet block. he said anytime we get a call it's to your house. it was to make out a missing persons report because my daughter wasn't coming home. >> at 16 raleigh quit high school, left home and joined the ranks of runaway kids walking the streets waiting to be preyed upon. >> well, you know, so many of them are homeless. they come from broken homes or simply homeless out on the ve street. and we've seen this survival sex where there are young girls and boys, too, who are out there doing whatever they can to survive. and so many times we've seen that is, you know, the exchange of sex for food, you know, for a place to stay, for clothing.
>> as crazy as it sounds, alvarez says the promise of daily food can be enough to keep a young girl or boy dependent on their pimp. >> we had a case where a young girl who did not want to testify against her pimp, and the reason was "he buys me a subway sandwich whenever i want it." >> in raleigh's case the hook was love. she spell under the speflll of young man named rick who took her in, told her he loved her, and then pimped her out on the internet. >> and it was extremely easy. i mean, you take pictures, write a few words, and there you have it. put your number up. and there you have it. >> raleigh says it wasn't long before the phone started ringing and men began showing up with cash in hand. >> oh, i would say in a day i would make about $2,000. or more. depending on the day. fridays and saturdays and wednesdays were my best days.
>> at $200 a date, raleigh says that selling her body also meant selling her soul up to 10 times a day. >> it was really hard. i mean, i couldn't stand to look at myself in the mirror. and it's an act that just makes you hate yourself and make you feel so dirty. it makes you take like 50 showers a day to wash away the dirt and the filth and the hate. >> nevertheless, raleigh remained with rick for a year, running on the misguided notion that he loved her and that whatever was good for him would somehow be good for her. >> how foolish could i have been? i wasn't even myself. i was like lost in the world somewhere. i didn't know who i was. i didn't know where i was going. i didn't know what i was living for. >> i was an emotional wreck. i was like a zombie. >> for almost a year after
raleigh ran away from home, mother and daughter had little contact. jean could only imagine where raleigh was and what she was up to. >> i get a knock at the door, and it was the police. they were bringing raleigh home. >> finally, at the end of 2010, the cooke county task force arrested raleigh's pimp in an undercover sting. raleigh was apprehended the next day and delivered home to her mother. >> i couldn't process it. i remember leaning back and leaning on the wall for support because i thought i was going to pass out. i could not believe it. and i remember thinking to myself, i was like this has got to be a mistake. how could it be? not my kid. >> in february 2011 raleigh's 18-year-old pimp was convicted in the first case brought by illinois's human trafficking task force. anita alvarez says it won't be the last.
>> we'll have to talk to frank and see -- >> this is a priority. it's a priority for all of us here in chicago and cook county. and a priority i believe any mother would agree with me. i don't believe anyone wants to see their child fall victim to this type of crime. >> today mother and daughter are now reunited and working on mending their past. >> i feel blessed. i think god gave raleigh and i both a second chance at bettering our relationship. >> no, i'm just playing. >> and i think that had that test was not been in place i don't know where i would be right now. maybe putting flowers on her grave. i don't know. >> for every girl walking the track or smiling in a sexy online ad, raleigh wants the public to understand that despite all outward appearances -- >> they need help. they need to be loved. they need someone to reach out and give them a hug.
all of us had different situations that hurt us and broke us down to the point we felt like we were unloved and that we hate ourselves. >> you want it through your bra or -- >> up next, oakland's finest females go undercover. and turn the tables on unsuspecting johns and pimps. i take an omega for my heart. but to be honest, i find the omega choices overwhelming. which one is right for me? then i found new pronutrients omega-3.
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>> the male johns, the customers. >> we're going after the johns. a lot of times in these operations you see we're going after females. females are a major part of the problem, but they're also victims. if we can attack this, if we can address this situation by going after the customers, well, then i think it's our duty to try and address this big problem on all sides of the coin. >> undercover officers will be wendy. everybody take a look. and felicia. >> two veteran female officers prepare to go undercover as street walkers. >> you want it through your bra or -- >> okay. >> stick it underneath the straps. you should be fine. >> they are wired for sound -- >> yeah, that's working. >> -- and must also brace themselves for the very real danger that comes from playing prostitutes out on the track. >> i've been doing undercover work for about six years and had some interesting experiences. i've been hit. i've been spit on. they can grab you into their car. they can take off before you have a chance to react.
>> i need everybody to make sure they're on top of their game. we have undercover officers out here who are putting themselves in a situation that can turn bad really quick, especially some of the things that we've been seeing so far. pimps walking around with guns flashing, trying guerrilla tactics and things like that. so i need everybody to be on their a game. >> it's a little after 3:00 p.m. when the task force hits the streets of oakland and rolls out to the track. >> we'll put them on the northeast corner. >> i'm not going to let anything happen to you, wendy. >> all right, bro. you got eyes? >> yeah, i got eyes. all right. unders are out, northeast corner. 17th avenue, international. >> seasoned vice cops know that there's no surefire way to predict when the johns will show up. but today it only takes ten minutes for the undercovers to get their first bite. >> how are you doing? >> all right. we got a possible with the gray prius. felicia's making contact right now.
>> hey, baby, how you doing? we can go wherever you want to go. do whatever you want to do. >> the small talk quickly turns from dinner to the man's appetite for sex, and a deal is struck. >> all right. there's going to be a swoop. i'll let you know when it's off. >> go back there. go in the alley. >> with a quick tug on her harks the undercover signals there's enough to make a case, and arrest teams swoop down on the unsuspecting john. >> they got it. >> what was my time for that? >> let's go with 15:40. >> the undercover jots down the details of the day's first catch, knowing full well there will be many, many more. >> hey, look northbound on the west curb. old boy in the driveway waiting for you all. >> a few minutes later another man in the mood ducks into a nearby alley and signals the women by honking his horn. >> all right. wendy's making contact. i think he might want felicia. >> when the women approach the vehicle, they find the man more
than ready to make the deal. >> i've got eyes on both of them and we can hear. >> you're all ready to go. you just got it all out in the open. >> all right. this dude is actually exposed right now. >> the man agrees to $40 for oral sex and the undercovers direct him into the waiting arms of arresting officers. >> let's do it real quick, guys. >> the stunned john is quickly zipped up and hustled off to a holding cell. >> what the hell was that? a blue four-door honda? >> a blue kia. >> so was he driving stick shift? or what was the situation? >> yes, he was driving stick. and he wanted me and my friend to help him out with that. >> it's now less than an hour into the operation, and the team is beginning to hit their stride. >> all right. stand by. we got a pt cruiser working northbound 1400 17th av.
>> all right. going to be good to go. >> yep. i see it. >> yet another john is quickly cuffed and police have more than enough to book him despite his insistence of innocence. >> we're going to clear out. >> all of this day's catch are hauled off to a nearby oakland p.d. substation where one emerging trend becomes clear. >> the johns are not, you know, the scary stranger lurking in the shadows. these are regular, everyday guys, people who you probably wouldn't suspect of doing things like these. >> listen to what the officer's telling you, sir, this process will run a lot smoother. >> yeah, i apologize. it was a mistake. >> they're showing up with car seats in the car. you know, they're regular guys. so it really does affect all of us.
>> meanwhile, back out on oakland's track, undercovers catch the interest of a middle-aged man in an suv. >> flisias still working it with this tan car. he's saying that he thinks she's a cop. but he's not 100% sure. >> come on, baby. what you want to do? we got all night. >> as cautious as he is curious, the man appears reluctant to make the next move. instead he drives around the block to find a space to eyeball the women from a safe distance. >> he's parking and then we'll see what he does from there. he's kind of watching the girls. >> it's a bit of cat and mouse with this one but not for long, as the undercovers must move on to the next customer in line. >> blue truck hasn't pulled off but now he's honking at them. looks like he's calling them over. >> red sweatshirt, black cowboy hat, old beat-up blue pickup truck. >> yeah. >> copy, blue truck.
>> all right. he's pulling over. it's going to be a swoop on the blue truck. >> as soon as the old blue truck pulls into the motel parking lot, he's immediately greeted by oakland's finest. >> meanwhile, the cautious window shopper in the suv, his suspicions now confirmed, takes off. >> somebody come in and get this ford now that's making the u-turn going northbound. i.d. him. >> you live around here? >> no, sir. i live in bellville. >> this man is a long way from his home in the quiet east bay suburb of dublin, california. though no deal for sex was made, police can charge him with loitering and hopefully discourage him from browsing in this neck of the woods again. >> we want him to know that human trafficking and child exploitation is one of our top priorities and we will not tolerate it in our city.
the residents and the police of oakland are saying that we don't want to be a hub for this type of crime any longer and we're not going to tolerate it. >> okay. thank you. >> coming up, undercovers flip the script on the pimps, turning predators into prey. >> what's going on? i'm on tv. get the technology they love, on the network they deserve. and video chat with up to 9 of your friends with the galaxy nexus by samsung, or get the samsung stratosphere, and for a limited time, get twice the data for the same low price. verizon. fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit.
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all right, copy, we'll put them on that northeast corner. >> investigators with the oakland p.d.'s human trafficking task force are out again on the city's notorious prostitution track, conducting undercover stings. but today they are not after the women, they are targeting the buy side of the equation, the johns. >> felicia's got one working on the green ford pickup.
>> yeah, it looks like she's going to go over there and make contact with him in the parking lot. >> in the first few hours of work the team apprehends nearly 20 unsuspecting johns. but as the light fades and day becomes night, an entirely different sort of creature comes out to prowl the track. >> looks more like the pimp type, too. >> he was eyeballing me hard over here. >> pimps are always on the lookout for new girls. we're going to be the new booty on the street tonight, and they're going to know that. >> if you have a couple of fresh faces out there, new girls trying to make money, trying to work on the track, well, a pimp will see that as a sign of disrespect for one, and two, he's also going to want to recruit them. >> those guys are pimps right there. >> for pimps recruitment techniques can run the gamut from sweet-talking a girl to kidnapping her and stuffing her in his trunk. >> we've had, you know, several close calls with feeling like, you know, the pimps are being very aggressive and that their ultimate goal was to kidnap one of the undercover officers.
>> one close call occurred right in front of one of our cameras in 2008. during this sting, undercovers on the track caught the eye of two men driving a cargo van and looking to expand their stable. >> be advised there's two guys on foot that got out of that van. one of them is kind of lurking up the block toward marin. >> as unmarked police vehicles moved in to provide closer cover an unidentified drive-by let loose a hail of bullets. [ gunfire ] >> jesus christ. >> westbound marin, turning southbound. >> no one was hurt in that incident, and the unknown shooter escaped into the night, but it was a startling reminder of the ever-present dangers that lurk out on oakland's track, even for the cops that work to clean it up. >> what we rely on as female undercover officers being placed onto the streets of oakland is, number one, our training. we're very well trained. you don't just put any female officer out on the track.
it has to be a female officer who's gone to an undercover school. and then the second thing is you rely on your fellow officers who, you know, are there and they know what to look for and they're also well trained and they know what the danger signs look like on the track. >> got the door open. trying to talk to her. >> be careful. be careful. be careful. >> as dusk descends on the track, this particular browser captures the team's complete and undivided attention. >> the driver door is completely open. he might be trying to recruit her. so just stand by. >> are you trying to be friends? this will make you happy. i'm not in the business of making friends right now, man. i'm in the business of making you happy. >> police are not sure if this browser is a would-be john or pimp but he does appear to have enough street smarts to evade their sting. >> all right. no play. he's pulling off southbound. >> he didn't have any money. >> he wanted to be our friend. >> you can almost translate
that. what do you mean by being my friend while i'm out here? what does that mean? that's that one style of pimping. that's that romeo pimping style. >> there's not enough to make an arrest here. but just a few minutes later the women are approached by another man who definitely seems more interested in the sell side of the equation than the buy side. >> contact with a black gmc. this might be a pimp case. stand by. >> he was trying to recruit us is what he was trying to do, basically talking about how his girls make so much money. he takes them to the hot spots where all the money's at. >> the undercovers notice a very young-looking woman riding in the man's car, and they suspect she may be working for him. >> we got enough for pimping with him? pimping, right? >> with her in the car, yes. his thing was he didn't want to talk here. he said i want to get you someplace else and we can talk. let's talk over lunch. >> and her -- and the little girl was like we the baddest in town. >> swoop. >> northbound 17th av, eastbound
turn onto marin. >> given the suspicious circumstances and the unknown age of the young woman, police decide to stop the vehicle and investigate further. >> what's going on? why am i on tv? >> a quick records check shows the man is wanted on violation of probation for a previous felony conviction. police are momentarily relieved to learn that the young woman, michelle martinez, is not a juvenile. but she is a convicted felon. and tonight she'll be taken in for violating her parole. >> take them both for it. because she was trying to recruit also. from what i understand, they're both on probation. we have more than enough with the conversation, the area, the totality of the facts that they can be arrested. it's a misdemeanor. loitering to facilitate prostitution. >> as night falls the pair are
hustled downtown as while undercovers continue to work the corner of 17th and international. >> come here. >> all right. we got one working. >> you looking for me? what you looking for me for? >> might be a pimp case. >> you got some money for me? >> huh? >> you got some money for me? >> he just told her she's supposedtop to have money for him. >> i have two babies at the house. you going to take care of my babies for me? man. how much of a cut do i get? >> this man is so intent on recruiting the undercover officer he makes one incriminating statement after another. >> he was very blunt, talked about protecting her, even at one point picked up a whole bunch of money from his door and told him his money was on. >> the money's long, huh? what else you going to do for me in it's dangerous out here. >> that's what i'm saying. that's you why shouldn't be out here by yourself.
>> definitely good to go. he said she can't be out here by herself. she needs protection. >> he's seen more than enough. he gives the swoop signal and arresting offices descend on the suspect. >> yeah, right there. >> yeah, they got him out of the car. >> what did i do? i did nothing. >> this player is done for the night, and his arrest marks the end of another successful operation for the oakland police department's human trafficking unit. but the work must and will continue, bust by bust, block by block, night by night, in a neverending fight. >> we're trying to change a culture out here. and we're trying to send a message and change a culture that this type of behavior isn't going to be allowed in our city.