Suspect

Anthony Purtle was charged with human trafficking.  (Contributed photo by San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department)

Human trafficking charges have been filed against a man who was already in custody on a charge of domestic stalking, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Over the past several months, investigators from the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force had been investigating the possible involvement of Anthony Purtle, a 26-year-old Victorville resident, for the human trafficking of several victims within the Inland Empire and Los Angeles County. Purtle was originally brought to the attention of the Task Force through a separate investigative agency, which was investigating his involvement in a violation of restraining order.

Evidence was discovered linking Purtle to three adult victims and ultimately one juvenile victim of human trafficking in Ontario, San Bernardino, and L.A. County, the Sheriff's Department said.

Through continued investigation, Task Force members discovered additional evidence supporting Purtle's relationship to all four victims, as well as his active solicitation of the victims to work as prostitutes on his behalf, the Sheriff's Department said.

The case was filed in the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office, with human trafficking being charged on June 22, while Purtle was already in custody on a felony domestic stalking charge. Purtle is currently being held at Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center.

This investigation is ongoing. Investigators believe there are other unidentified victims related to this case and are asking that anyone with information contact the Human Trafficking Task Force at (909) 387-8400. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME or leave information at www.wetip.com.

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