Crime

Marin cop’s expertise gets human trafficking victim back with Modesto family

Experts discuss warning signs of human trafficking

Steve Anderson, a SVU detective for Modesto Police Department, and Debbie Johnson, of the Without Permission organization, discuss the red flags of human trafficking in a video made for parents.
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Steve Anderson, a SVU detective for Modesto Police Department, and Debbie Johnson, of the Without Permission organization, discuss the red flags of human trafficking in a video made for parents.

A Sacramento man was arrested and a Modesto girl is back with family because a police corporal who made a traffic stop in Marin County is an expert in human trafficking.

About 2:30 a.m. Friday, San Rafael Police Department Cpl. Lilah Gavlick was on patrol when she saw a Mercedes without a front license plate driving through a motel parking lot.

She conducted a traffic stop near the onramp to eastbound Interstate 580 and found three males and a female inside the car, according to a SRPD news release Wednesday.

The female was passed out in the back seat, barefoot and wearing a short dress. Concerned for the female’s safety, Gavlick decided to investigate further, the news release says.

She was able to rouse the passenger, who identified herself as a 17-year-old from Modesto.

Gavlick is trained and experienced with cases of human trafficking and regularly represents her police department in community discussions on the issue. Based on her expertise, she was concerned the teen was a victim.

Gavlick questioned the Mercedes’ driver, 19-year-old Sacramento resident Jayvon Gunn, who “made some admissions” indicating he was trafficking the girl, the news release says.

The corporal’s continuing investigation led to Gunn’s arrest on suspicion of human trafficking and pimping. He was booked into the Marin County Jail.

At the police department, the 17-year-old was interviewed and released to a family member. The teen was given information about human trafficking, including resources to contact in the future.

The other two males in the Mercedes were interviewed and released without charges, the police department reported.

In addition to law enforcement agencies, resources in Stanislaus County for victims of human trafficking include Haven Women’s Center and Without Permission.

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