Through their investigation, Vice detectives identified and arrested a third suspect for human trafficking. On Dec. 21, 2020, detectives arrested Kerri Muha, 41-year-old resident of Apple Valley, CA, who was booked for human trafficking of a victim under 18-years-old and is being held on $450,000 bail.
Original News Release 9/4/20:
A human trafficking investigation has led to the recovery of three female juveniles reported as missing persons, and the arrest of two adult suspects.
Detectives from the Long Beach Police Department’s Vice Investigations Section arrested Mycal Ruff, a 32-year-old resident of Carson , on August 28, 2020 on three counts of False Imprisonment and Human Trafficking and was held on $450,000 bail. Detectives also arrested Dezere Romero, a 21-year-old resident of San Bernardino, on September 3, 2020 on three counts of Human Trafficking of a victim under 18-years-old and one count of prostitution and is being held on $470,000 bail.
The events began on August 13, 2020, when detectives initiated an investigation involving the prostitution of a minor near the 100 block of 28th street. Detectives arranged to meet the minor inside of a location. Once inside, detectives received consent to search the minor’s phone, which revealed an additional two juvenile-trafficking victims later recovered by detectives on August 14, 2020 and August 26, 2020. The victims relayed to detectives that they were forced to perform prostitution acts for a pimp named Mycal Ruff. Ruff was aided by Dezere Romero, who helped manage the minors on his behalf.
The three female juveniles, ages 15, 16, and 17, were all listed as missing persons from Long Beach, San Bernardino, and Hemet, respectively.
Possible evidence has shown that one of the victims may have been trafficked across state lines.
The Long Beach Police Department is a proud member of the Commercially Sexually Exploited Child Task Force formed in 2013 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The victims who were identified by detectives were provided with victim-centered services through the Los Angeles County First Responder Protocol for Sexually Exploited Children.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to call the Long Beach Police Department’s Vice Investigation Detail at (562) 570-7219.