Man arrested after Wednesday evening human trafficking operation

On Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, at approximately 5:25 pm, the Turlock Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) arrested Javen Fres Novella, 19, of Fresno for human trafficking after an undercover sting operation.

The day prior, SIU officers received a tip from an unknown source that a possible juvenile human trafficking victim was believed to be frequenting the local area. SIU officers began collaborating with local law enforcement agencies in an attempt to locate the juvenile. Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that the juvenile was in fact a victim of human trafficking and was later rescued.

On the day of the sting, undercover SIU officers were in communication with the victim and Novella and agreed to meet up at a location in the 1800 block of Lander Ave for the purposes of prostitution. The victim and Novella arrived in Novella’s victim, and upon getting the victim away from Novella, SIU officers identified themselves as police officers to Novella and took him into custody.

Officers on scene located additional evidence that the victim was being trafficked by Novella. Officers placed Novella under arrest and booked him into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of human trafficking of a minor, pimping someone over the age of 16, and pandering someone over the age of 16.

Javen Fres Novella

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