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16 people found being held captive in Bakersfield, California

As we were all preparing to celebrate the holidays, 16 people were found being held captive in Bakersfield.

It all started when a Hispanic man, in the middle of the night, started pounding on neighbors' doors begging for help. He said he and his wife and child were being held captive after being smuggled in from Mexico.

As police investigated, they found no one inside the house. While the neighbors had called police, the remaining victims in the house had been loaded into vehicles and moved.

Detectives identified two other Bakersfield drop house locations where the victims had been moved. They rescued 16 individuals (ages 8 to 66 and included seven females and nine males) who were being held and threatened by their captors. They arrested 9 individuals for a wide variety of charges including suspicion of human trafficking for labor purposes, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy.

There are several important educational factors to learn about how to recognize a drop house and what to do if you think you have a house in your community that is being used to house individuals or may be being used for an illegal pot grow.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call KCSO at 661-861-3110 or the secret witness line at 661-322-4040.


Please note: A criminal complaint, an arrest, or an indictment is a formal accusation or allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

Listen to the Million Kids radio broadcast on AM 590 (The Answer) this Saturday at 3:00pm (PST) or if you are out of the area you can listen by logging on to or listen to the podcast on or Spotify.

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