On Monday, June 22, San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force charged Anthony Purtle, 26, of Victorville for human trafficking of adult and minor victims within the cities of San Bernardino, Ontario and the county of Los Angeles. Purtle was already in custody for felony domestic stalking.
According to a sheriff’s department press release, over the past several months, investigators from the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force have been investigating the possible involvement of Anthony Purtle, for the Human Trafficking of several victims within the Inland Empire and Los Angeles County.
Purtle was originally brought to the attention of the Task Force through a separate investigative agency, which was investigating his involvement in a violation of restraining order. Through information provided to Task Force members, an investigation was initiated.
During the investigation, evidence was discovered linking Purtle to three adult victims and one juvenile victim of Human Trafficking. Through continued investigation, Task Force members discovered additional evidence supporting Purtle's relationship to all four victims, as well as his active solicitation of the victims to work as prostitutes on his behalf.
The case was filed in the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office, with Human Trafficking being charged on June 22, while Purtle was already in custody on a felony domestic stalking charge.
Purtle is being held at Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center on felony violation of PRCS (post-release community supervision)- no bail, domestic stalking- $50,000 bail and human trafficking of a minor- $750,000 bail.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Purtle was on early/active PRCS release for felony domestic violence related charges originating out of Riverside County, as a result of California Assembly Bill 109.
As part of Gov. Jerry Brown's Realignment Plan, or Assembly Bill 109, to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring the state to lower its prison population; offenders with non-violent, non-sexual and non-serious convictions will serve reduced sentences in county jails and be placed on local supervision through county Probation.
The San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force is made up of investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office, Ontario Police Department, Redlands Police Department, California State Parole, Office of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This investigation is ongoing. Investigators believe there are other unidentified victims related to this case and are asking that anyone with information related to this investigation, please contact the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force at (909) 387-8400. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1 (888) 78-CRIME or you may leave the information on the WE-Tip Hotline at wetip.com.