SAN DIEGO, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Law enforcement officials said they arrested 17 gang members -- most in San Diego -- for allegedly forcing young women into prostitution.
Fourteen gang members were arrested Wednesday in San Diego, two in Arizona and one in New Jersey for involvement in the sex trafficking ring that allegedly victimized 60 female victims, 11 as young as 15 years old, U-T San Diego reported Thursday.
Four other men were already in custody and three were still at large.
The gang members allegedly took the girls and women by force or by luring them into prostitution, sent them to locations in 23 states and sold them for sex in hotel rooms, the U.S. attorney's office said.
"The kind of sex trafficking described in this indictment is nothing less than modern-day slavery," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy at a news conference. "Unfortunately, more gangs are expanding from traditional pursuits like drug dealing into this lucrative business."
The indictment against the gang members also includes charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery and drug trafficking, the newspaper said.