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Turlock police arrest human trafficker

A tip about a minor possibly being trafficked in the region led to the rescue of a minor girl and the arrest of a suspected human trafficker by the Turlock Police Department.

The suspect, Javen Fres Novella, 19, of Fresno was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, pandering a juvenile and pimping a juvenile.

On Tuesday the police department got information that a minor girl was being brought to the area for the purpose of prostitution.

The special investigation unit within the department began working with other local law enforcement in an attempt to locate the minor.

On Wednesday, the investigators went undercover and established contact with Novella and made arrangements for the victim to be brought to Turlock.

“Novella arrived with the victim, in his vehicle, at a mutually agreed upon location in the 1800 block of Lander Avenue for the purposes of prostitution,” said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Parmley.

The victim was led away from Novella and once she was safe, she was contacted by the investigators, Parmley said.

Novella was contacted by investigators as he waited in his vehicle. He was detained, interviewed and eventually arrested.

“Investigators on scene located additional evidence of the victim being trafficked by Novella,” Parmley said.

Arrangements are being made to safely return the victim, who is not a local area resident, to her home.

If you believe someone is a victim of human trafficking, contact your local police department or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888, by text at 233733, TTY: 711, or

The Turlock Police Department asks that anyone with information regarding this on- going investigation to call Investigator Monica Maschal at (209) 664-7347. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at

The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.