OAKLAND, CA – A joint operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Oakland Police Department and the Oakland City Attorney’s Office has resulted in numerous arrests and a lawsuit against the Mills Motel, a business that has operated as a hub of both human and drug trafficking in the East Oakland neighborhood near Mills College.
The operation which included undercover investigations and surveillance has resulted in at least six arrests and warrants for crimes including human trafficking, rape, burglary, forgery and armed robbery, and the recovery of evidence including a kilo of cocaine at the property located at 4550 MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland.
“We will continue our pursuit of motels and businesses that benefit from and cater to human trafficking,” City Attorney Barbara Parker said. “There are many law abiding hotel owners in Oakland whose businesses benefit our community. Unfortunately, we see too many hotels and motels that rely on drug sales and the sexual exploitation and abuse of girls and women to make a profit. We will not rest until all business operating as a nuisance to the community either clean up their act or shut down.”
The Mills Motel has been a source of gun violence, illegal drug sales, the sexual exploitation of minors and other crimes. Numerous police reports document criminal activity at the property including: domestic violence, rape, prostitution, robbery, burglary, unexplained death and illegal possession of firearms.
Police reported that juvenile victims of human trafficking stated that they operated out of the Mills Motel and that the owner and managers knew or should have known of the criminal activities.
“Countering all threats of abuse and exploitation of children is extremely important to the FBI,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bertram Fairries of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office. “We are committed to partnering with local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who prey on the vulnerability of minors for sexual exploitation.”
The law enforcement action by the FBI and Oakland Police Department led the City Attorney to file a lawsuit to shut down the business for one year, the maximum amount of time allowed by state law. In June the City Attorney’s Neighborhood Law Corps filed a lawsuit charging the owners of the Mills Motel with maintaining their business as a source of crime including the sexual exploitation of minors. The complaint also seeks penalties and enforcement costs from the owners and managers of the motel. (People of the State of California and City of Oakland v. East Bay Lodging, LLC, Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG15776025)