Home Contra Costa County Large Scale Human Traffickers Arrested in Contra Costa Joint Operation

Large Scale Human Traffickers Arrested in Contra Costa Joint Operation

by ECT

Danville (Ca)- In an investigation going back to 2001, the San Ramon Police Department, in a joint operation with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, and the F.B.I. Safe Streets Task Force, arrested three suspects in a large scale human trafficking operation. Suspect James Joseph Jr. and his common law wife Avisa Lavassani led a sex trafficking ring for the last 14 years, which had been centered in San Ramon and Danville, CA.

Both Joseph and Lavassani are currently in custody awaiting arraignment on Human Trafficking and Conspiracy to Commit Human Trafficking charges. Suspect Anthony Reynolds, who assisted Joseph and Lavassani in their trafficking operations, also awaits arraignment in custody.

Acting on information obtained through prior victims of James Joseph Jr. and Avisa Lavassani, the San Ramon Police Department began an investigation into the current activities of the two trafficking ring heads. Utilizing a months-long wire-tap as well as field surveillance, the San Ramon Police Department, Investigators with the F.B.I. Safe Streets Task Force and District Attorney Investigators uncovered a

wide-ranging human trafficking operation that stretched from California to Cleveland, to Miami, and to New York. The operation was netting Joseph Jr. and Lavassani tens of thousands of dollars a week utilizing multiple trafficking victims at one time.

Chief Joe Gorton of the San Ramon Police Department stated: “This investigation has shown us that human trafficking does not stay within jurisdictional lines and it doesn’t just happen in big cities or at ports and truck stops. Human trafficking can occur anywhere and it can be hidden in plain sight.”

Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson declared: “We are committed to investigate and prosecute human traffickers in Contra Costa County. There is no room in our society for treating human beings as slaves and property that can be bought and sold. The San Ramon Police Department and the F.B.I. Safe Streets Task Force did an outstanding job in working this complex and highly involved case.”

The FBI Contra Costa County Safe Streets Task Force consists of police officers and investigators from the F.B.I., Antioch Police Department, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, Richmond Police Department, Contra Costa County Probation Department, California Department of Corrections, Pittsburg Police Department, and the San Ramon Police Department. Along with law enforcement officials, the District Attorney’s Office also utilized several Victim/Witness Advocates, representative who work exclusively with victims and witnesses of violent crime, in their investigation.

Editors Note:
As part of this investigation, a search warrant was issued and conducted in the City of Oakley on Wente Ct.

  • James Joseph, of Danville, is being held on $2.5 million bail.
  • Avisa Lavassani, of Danville, is being held on $4 million bail
  • Anthony Reynolds, of Oakley, is being held on $1 million bail

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Danny Aug 25, 2015 - 7:39 pm

Hope everyone involved is caught, these people are sick. Nice job officers!

Jill Aug 25, 2015 - 7:40 pm

Why in the world does it take 14 years? That is a lot of people who could have been hurt in that time frame.

julie Aug 27, 2015 - 8:55 am

because if they don’t gather sufficient evidence and have all their ducks in a row, the criminals could end up walking

Angel Aug 26, 2015 - 1:40 am

Because police are more worried about small drug dealers and users when human trafficking is a bigger issue. Why did they block John Conaty out of the picture here?

EB Aug 26, 2015 - 7:52 am

Angel, why did you feel the need to name the blocked officer? His face is obviously blocked to keep his identity safe, which of course you know. It’s pretty dishonorable of you to name him. I hope someone with the ability to do so will delete your comment. You’re no angel.

Nicole Renee Choate Aug 26, 2015 - 9:36 am

Just goes to show that this kind of thing happens everywhere even in upper scale communities!

Jusamia Aug 29, 2015 - 12:15 pm

Sim wondering why there isn’t a picture of Anthony Reynolds the 3rd suspect…. Hmmmmm?

Comments are closed.