Trinity Mount Ministries

Showing posts with label arrests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label arrests. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

10 rescued from suspected human smuggling operation in SW Houston, 2 in custody


Police are now investigating a case of suspected human smuggling in southwest Houston.

According to the Houston Police Department, officers responded to the 9000 block of McAvoy. 

Authorities said a total of 10 people were rescued from a house where they were being held. 

Police said indications are this is human smuggling. 

Two suspects are in custody, according to police. 

HPD Vice and ICE are investigating. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Circle of Hope Girls' Ranch owners charged with abuse after women spoke out on TikTok

The Circle of Hope Girls' Ranch in Missouri, where at least two dozen women alleged that they were abused. 
By Tyler Kingkade and Liz Brown

The owners of a religious boarding school in southwestern Missouri have been arrested on dozens of abuse charges, following an investigation prompted by alumnae who spoke out on TikTok.

Boyd and Stephanie Householder, the owners and operators of Circle of Hope Girls’ Ranch, were taken into custody Tuesday after the Missouri Attorney General’s office filed a litany of charges.

Court records show Boyd Householder, 71, faces 79 felony counts and one misdemeanor, including charges for child molestation, sodomy, sexual contact with a student and neglect of a child. Stephanie Householder, 55, faces 22 felony charges for abuse or neglect of a child, and endangering the welfare of a child. The alleged incidents occurred from 2017 to 2020.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt told reporters at a news conference Wednesday his office has identified 16 victims “so far,” and that he considers this to be “one of the most widespread cases of sexual, physical and mental abuse patterns against young girls and women in Missouri history.”

“There are no words I can say today to describe the mix of great sadness, horror, disgust and sympathy that I feel about these reports of cruel and almost unbelievable reports of abuse and neglect,” Schmitt said.

The Householders were being held in Vernon County Jail, Cedar County Sheriff James McCrary said. They were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

An attorney who has represented the Householders in civil lawsuits said he will not be representing them in the criminal cases. It was unclear Wednesday if the Householders had a defense lawyer. Stephanie Householder previously told NBC News that she and her husband deny all allegations against them.

Boyd Householder opened Circle of Hope in 2006 as a school that he claimed could reform rebellious teenage girls. Two dozen former residents previously told NBC News and “Dateline” that Boyd and Stephanie used cruel punishments against girls at the ranch, including withholding food, forcing them to perform manual labor and restraining girls face down for as long as an hour.

Schmitt said witnesses told investigators that the Householders restrained girls with handcuffs and zipties, and stuffed dirty socks in their mouths. One girl said Boyd pushed her down the stairs, and another said he advised her on how to kill herself, according to Schmitt.

Charging documents allege that Boyd slammed two girls’ heads against a wall, kept another girl in a room with no light or sound for “an extended period of time on multiple occasions,” poured hot sauce into a girl’s mouth and used duct tape and socks to prevent a girl from using her hands for “several days.” Stephanie’s charges largely stem from allegations that she assisted Boyd in dangerous restraints and allowed him to continue to interact with the girls after assaulting them, according to charging documents.

Since the boarding school opened, concerned parents, staff members and others had reported Circle of Hope at least 19 times to three sheriff’s departments, state child welfare and education officials, the highway patrol, and the state attorney general’s office, according to interviews and records obtained by NBC News.

However, these complaints did not result in charges. An assistant U.S. attorney declined to prosecute in 2018, according to an email from a highway patrol officer who investigated Circle of Hope. And state child welfare and education officials had no authority to close the ranch, a loophole that a bipartisan bill pending in the Missouri Legislature aims to close.

The wave of state action began after the Householders’ daughter, Amanda, and women who attended Circle of Hope as teenagers started to post videos on TikTok last spring alleging abuse at the ranch. The videos prompted the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office to investigate, the office confirmed.

Last summer, about two dozen girls still enrolled in Circle of Hope were removed by state officials as more people came forward with abuse allegations. The Householders voluntarily closed Circle of Hope in August and put the property up for sale.

Schmitt’s office joined the investigation in November, after Cedar County prosecutor Ty Gaither requested assistance.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Florida police arrest 23 suspected child predators and traffickers through online sting

By Morgan Phillips

Florida deputies arrested 23 suspected child predators and human traffickers during a recent four-day sting operation, all of which used online applications to seek out children, police said, according to Fox 13.

“Operation Intercept VII” targeted people who allegedly traveled to the county to meet minors for sex. The suspects arrested were between the ages of 21 and 77.

Those arrested allegedly responded to online ads, apps and social media websites, believing they were talking to children, but those "children" were actually undercover detectives. Police say one man sent over 90 sexually explicit photos to the detective.

The detectives provided an address for meet-ups, where authorities would be waiting. Deputies said several men brought condoms, one brought candy and one brought a sex toy.

“I wish I could say these operations were no longer needed but time and time again, even after we make dozens of arrests, these men keep coming back for more,” Sarasota County Sheriff Knight said in a press conference, according to Fox 13. “In this digital world we live in, innocent children are far too accessible to predators. That is why, as parents, we have to get serious about prevention. Parents are the first line of defense and we will never stop reminding our community of that.”

The sheriff’s office previously released a list of 15 apps about which parents should be leery. The apps, officials said, are often used by predators looking for children.

On Friday, investigators added yet more apps to that list.

The list included common dating apps such as Bumble, Grindr, Plenty of Fish and Zoosk. It also included messaging apps such as Snapchat, Whatsapp and Kik, and TikTok, an app beloved by Gen Z which allows users to create and share short videos.

Following the arrest of another 23 men for traveling to meet a child for sex, we are re-releasing our list of #AppsParentsShouldKnowAbout. During our latest initiative, #OperationInterceptVII, 23 men utilized apps including Plenty of Fish, HILY, MocoSpace and Zoosk to connect with boys and girls who they believed were 14-YEARS-OLD. Also new to our list is an app called "Monkey" - it is rated for kids "12 and up" but also has "mild sexual content and nudity."


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ohio child sex trafficking sting nabs more than 100, including church leader, ER doctor

By Danielle Wallace - Fox News

Ohio police make over 100 arrests in massive human trafficking and child sex sting.

More than 100 are arrested in Ohio on charges linked to human trafficking and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The arrests were made during a four-part simultaneous operation involving more than 30 law enforcement agencies. Over 40 women were also arrested for prostitution, with some being placed in a human trafficking rehabilitation program.

More than 100 people, including a medical doctor and a church youth director, were arrested as part of a massive human trafficking and child sex sting operation based in central Ohio, according to a report.

Those arrested included 24 men caught when they showed up at an undisclosed location with the intention of meeting a child for sex, Maj. Steven Tucker of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office said.

"They show up with sex toys, they show up with lubrication. They show up with things that clearly somebody isn't going to show up to a house with, unless they intended to engage in sexual activity."

— Maj. Steven Tucker, Franklin County Sheriff's Office

The 24 suspects were charged with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning, Columbus’ WBNS-TV reported.

The total group of 104 suspects included Christian Gibson, 26, a former youth director at Redeemer's at Courtright Church in Columbus, and Austin Kosier, 31, an emergency room doctor, authorities said, adding that the sting was focused on Franklin, Fairfield and Delaware counties.

Christian Gibson, 26, left, a former church youth director, and Austin Kosier, 31, a medical doctor were both charged with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning, authorities say.

Monday, March 18, 2019

8 human trafficking predators arrested in northeast Ohio

An undercover operation targeting human trafficking predators has led to the arrest of eight men in northeast Ohio.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Liberty Township Police Chief Toby Meloro announced the arrests on Friday.
The suspects were taken into custody Thursday as part of the investigation by the Liberty Township Police Department and Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.
The following were arrested on charges of possession of criminal tools and solicitation:
  • Brian Evans III, 47, Youngstown
  • Thomas Biroschak, Jr., 29, Canfield
  • Patrick Cassidy, 52, Hubbard
  • Joseph Smith, 39, Niles
  • Brian Stewart, 37, Kinsman
  • Francis Cerech, 25, Campbell
  • Terrance Flanagan, 51, Niles
  • Louis Stirk, 47, Youngstown
Evans III was also arrested on felony charges of drug possession.
This is the second undercover sting operation in less than a year in the Youngstown area. The task force also arrested eight men on April 18, 2018, in Warren.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Human-trafficking crackdown: 510 arrested, 56 rescued in California


Los Angeles - More than 500 suspects were arrested and 56 people were rescued during a statewide human-trafficking crackdown, officials said.

The Los Angeles County Regional Human Trafficking Task Forces announced the arrests of 510 suspects during the three-day sweep, called Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.

During the operation, which took place between Jan. 25 and 27, the task force said 45 adults and 11 girls were rescued.

Among the 510 suspects arrested, 30 are suspected traffickers and 178 are alleged "johns."

The task force is housed by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and is a collaboration of more than 85 federal, state, county and local law enforcement and non-profit community organizations.

Speaking at a Tuesday press conference, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell gave details surrounding some of the arrests.

In one very disturbing incident in Milpitas, California, a man dressed in full police uniform - including a side arm - was arrested on felony charges after he sexually assaulted a human-trafficking victim, McDonnell said. The suspect was found to be already on felony probation and wanted by police for additional, similar crimes.

The sheriff said the operation targeted those who use the internet to exploit victims. In one such instance, McDonnell said an undercover deputy posing as a young female on social media was contacted by a suspect, who recruited her to work for him in the commercial sex trade.

After arranging a meeting, the pimp drove from Riverside County to meet with his victim. He demanded $500 from the victim for him to manage her. The suspect would collect the money from the customers and give the victim whatever he decided she needed. McDonnell said the suspect was arrested by task force detectives and found to be in possession of a stolen .357 Magnum handgun.

The task force was established in November 2015 and since that time, 948 suspects have been arrested in connection to human trafficking.

The Los Angeles-based non-profit Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking is providing help, including shelter and food, to the victims rescued during the operation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

FBI: 30-40 children sex trafficked within metro Detroit during Detroit Auto Show

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The FBI says 30-40 children are trafficking within the greater Detroit area during the North American International Auto Show. The bureau joined Detroit Police Chief James Craig to talk about human trafficking ahead of the auto show opening to the public on Saturday.

According to Michael Glennon with the FBI, there is a 280-300 percent increase in sex trafficking workers in the area. Ten percent of them are under the age of 18.

Chief Craig said that on Wednesday, VICE unit got a tip on a missing girl. They followed up, and found out that the missing girl was abducted and she was sexually assaulted. The suspect was preparing for her and another missing female to move them to Atlanta to continue with sex trafficking activity.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations says human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes, and is akin to modern-day slavery.

"Victims pay to be illegally transported into the United States, only to find themselves in the thrall of traffickers," HSI said. "They are forced into prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts - often entry into the United States."

In certain cases, human trafficking victims are children, surrounded by an unfamiliar culture and language without identification documents.

"Human trafficking cases are notoriously difficult to pursue," said Steve Francis, HSI special agent in charge. "Victims and their families are often intimated into compliance with the threat of violence and other forms of abusive coercion."

"We urge members of the public to educate themselves on these heinous crimes so they recognize the indicators. An educated public can help law enforcement rescue individuals in these situations and ensure those committing these acts are punished.”

HSI says recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Not all indicators listed below are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?

Has a child stopped attending school?

Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?

Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?

Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?

Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?

Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?

Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?

Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?

Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?

Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?

Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?

Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Does the person appear to have all their belongings in a plastic bag, easy to grab if forced to quickly move locations?

Is the juvenile using a false ID or lying about his or her age?

Does the person appear to not be familiar with his or her surroundings, e.g., not know their location?

HSI urges the public to not attempted to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. 
If you notice suspicious activity, please contact HSI through its tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services provided the below statement:

Davenport Shelter is licensed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as a child-caring agency for youth who are in the care of the department. The Division of Child Welfare Licensing at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services today began a special investigation of Davenport Shelter as a result of the information that surfaced yesterday. The department will conduct an expeditious and thorough investigation.

Case specifics about children in the care of the department are confidential.

MDHHS takes very seriously its duty to protect the safety and well-being of children and thoroughly investigates child safety issues at licensed facilities. Human trafficking of vulnerable children is a national problem that is of extreme concern to the department.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Teen missing for nearly a year was kept as ‘sex slave’ in trailer, police say

POSTED 5:00 PM, JANUARY 15, 2019, BY 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Police have arrested seven suspected human traffickers after a 16-year-old boy who had been missing for nearly a year was found in a “filthy” trailer St. Petersburg, Florida.

“The teenage victim in this case was lured with promises of a better life,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said at a press conference Monday. “Instead, he was moved into a filthy trailer and used as a sex slave for nearly a year.”

The investigation began on May 9, 2018 after Louisiana officials contacted police in St. Petersburg with information about another missing boy, 17, who they believed had been lured through the online gaming app Discord.

According to police, the suspects used it to communicate with the teen, who they picked up and drove to St. Petersburg.

When investigators went to a mobile home in North St. Petersburg where Louisiana authorities said he was, they found both teens living in the trailer with four men, Mark Earl Dennis, Andrew Barry Dennis, Curtis Lee Gruwell and Michael Wayne Schwartz.

When investigators went to a mobile home in North St. Petersburg where Louisiana authorities said he was, they found both teens living in the trailer with four men, Mark Earl Dennis, Andrew Barry Dennis, Curtis Lee Gruwell and Michael Wayne Schwartz.

The suspect we were looking for in the human trafficking case is in custody. Curtis Gruwell turned himself in to #stpetepd this morning.

He’s charged w conspiracy to commit human trafficking and interference with custody.

Dennis initially told authorities he was the 16-year-old’s father, which turned out to be false, police said.

The 16-year-old, from Marion County, Florida, was 15 when he disappeared. Police say his family found a note from her son saying not to look for him. Investigators now believe one of the suspects, Eleanor Faye McGlamory, had befriended the boy and lured him to the trailer.

“For the next year, he was introduced to sadomasochism and used as a sex slave by Mark and Anddrew Dennis, Gruwell, Schwartz and their associated, Michael Ray Blasdel and JR Gauthier,” police said in a news release. During the time he was held in the mobile home he did not attend school and wasn’t given medical treatment, according to police.

All seven face charges of conspiracy to commit human trafficking and interference with custody. Mark Earl Dennis, Andrew Barry Dennis, Michael Ray Blasdel and JR Gauthier also face charges of sexual battery with a child under age 16.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Father who worked as Santa arrested after bodies of 2 kids found in yard

Three other family members have also been charged

Wednesday, December 26th 2018, 10:51 AM EST
GUYTON, Ga. — A Georgia father and three other family members have been arrested and charged in connection with the deaths of two children who were found buried in the man’s backyard.

Siblings Mary Crocker and Elwyn Crocker Jr. were both discovered Dec. 20 after someone called authorities with concerns about the wellbeing of Mary, according to the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.

Follow this story to get email or text alerts from NBC2 when there is a future article following this storyline.

The 14-year-old had not been seen in weeks and her older brother had not been seen since November 2016 when he was 14 years old, Time reported. Neither teen had ever been reported missing.

Their father, Elwyn Crocker, along with the children’s stepmother, Candice Crocker, step-grandmother, Kim Wright, and her boyfriend, Roy Anthony Prater, were charged with concealing a death and cruelty to children.

“I’ve been doing this 41 years, and a while ago I almost broke down in tears,” Jimmy McDuffie, Effingham County sheriff, said during a press conference. “It’s that bad. I cannot understand how you do children like this. It’s horrible.”

Crocker reportedly led authorities to the children’s graves. He worked as a Santa Claus at Walmart until recently, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Neighbors told WTOC-TV the children seemed to mostly stay inside the home. Mary was often seen doing yard work.

“Other kids said at school they could tell stuff was wrong with her hands. They were red,” said Gary Bennett. “Kids would see her and ask what was wrong, and she wouldn’t ever say anything. She wouldn’t open up to anybody.”

A third child who lived at the home and has special needs was taken into custody.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

6 arrested in sex offender operation in St. Lucie County


Several sex offenders were arrested after St. Lucie County sheriff’s officials said they didn’t notify authorities they had social media accounts, the agency stated Friday.

Sex offenders every six months must go to the jail, register and reconfirm their address, have their photos taken and make other disclosures, such as whether they have a social media account, a sheriff’s official said. Sexual predators must do so every three months, the official said.

“Detectives and analysts with the agency's sex offender unit analyzed more than 400 registered sex offenders in St. Lucie County and found these seven to have social media accounts that were not disclosed to authorities, a requirement by law,” the Sheriff’s Office stated.

Arrested in the initiative, dubbed “Operation Social Justice,” were Darren A. Muldrow, 48; Christopher D. Williams, 48; Kenneth W. Keenan, 63; Alonzo F. Edmond, 32; Dennis L. McMillian, Jr., 37; and 23-year-old Trevor A. Harvey.

Investigators said Dennis L. Lovell, 65, was in violation, but he died before being arrested.

Originally Published 7:23 a.m. PST Dec. 21, 2018.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Predators are using Fortnite to lure kids. Cops say parents need to worry

By Paige Gross

First, parents worried about their children being approached by predators at grocery stores and on playgrounds. Then the threat moved online via shady profiles on social media.

Now, authorities say, some phone apps have opened even more channels of communication between adult predators and minors -- including some video games like Fortnite and Minecraft.

Earlier this week, in announcing the arrests of 24 alleged predators, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal warned the public that people looking to take advantage of young teens and children have more options to do so than ever due to the ever-developing landscape of internet communication. 

"It is a frightening reality that sexual predators are lurking on social media, ready to strike if they find a child who is vulnerable," Grewal said in describing how the 24 suspects were attempting to lure and elicit sex with teenagers.
The suspects, all men, varied in age and walks of life.

But Grewal said most were taking advantage of a multitude of apps allowing them to reach out to children, or in this case, undercover detectives.

Some of the apps N.J. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal warned parents about monitoring. (Michael Mancuso | For 

The men thought they were chatting with 14- and 15-year-old boys and girls, but were instead talking with detectives with the New Jersey State Police's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The task force trains its detectives to maintain online profiles on apps known for hooking up like Tinder and Grindr.

But Grewal said their presence can reach far beyond that.

Arrests of alleged child predators have been made after communicating through apps like Kik, Wishbone, Tumblr and even video games like Fortnite, Minecraft and Discord. 

The similarities to the more social apps are that the gaming apps have a chat area.
"These arrests serve as a sobering reminder that parents should closely monitor their child's online activity," State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said Tuesday.

Some of the apps, like Tinder, have an 18+ age requirement, but users are able to enter a birth date that's older or younger than they actually are. A person's age listed on Facebook sets their age on Tinder, as well, if the apps are synced.

But the app wasn't always adult-only.
Up until June 2016, a user only had to be 13 to sign up. The company changed its requirement after being heavily criticized by parents, reported.

Many other social mediums and apps, like Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat also have a minimum age requirement of 13. Tumblr says it's serious about its age requirement, writing:

What is Fortnite, the video game turned cultural phenomenon?

Making sure a child or teenager doesn't get wrapped up in a conversation with someone much older than they are pretending to be boils down to parents taking note of the apps their kids are using and talking through what is appropriate, authorities say.

"If children appear anxious of evasive when the topic is raised, it may be a red flag," Grewal said.

"It's critical that parents talk to their children about social media and chat apps to let them know that the people they encounter may not be who they initially seemed to be."

Monday, December 3, 2018

More than 100 suspects arrested during undercover human trafficking investigation in Polk County

Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff's Office have arrested more than 100 suspects during an undercover investigation focusing on human trafficking. 

Detectives conducted a six-day Human Trafficking operation from November 27 to December 2. Detectives focused on prostitutes posting online advertisements as well as "johns" seeking female prostitutes online. 
Undercover detectives posted fake ads or profiles on social media platforms, websites, and mobile phone applications, posing as prostitutes or those soliciting prostitutes. Some of the detectives found profiles and online ads posted by prostitutes and responded to them. 
A total of 103 arrests were made. Fifty-six of the arrests were for those who advertised as prostitutes online. Thirty of the arrests were those who solicited undercover detectives who posted ads posing as prostitutes. Eleven arrests were those who derive support from proceeds of prostitution and six were taken into custody for drug charges and other offenses. 
Charges for those arrested include soliciting another for prostitution, deriving support from proceeds of prostitution, transporting to building for prostitution and using a communication device to commit a felony.
Sheriff Grady Judd will release more information during a news conference on Monday at 1 p.m.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

4 Suspects Arrested In Delaware Human Trafficking Case, Police Say

Laurel– The Delaware State Police in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations have arrested four suspects in connection with a human trafficking case.
The investigation began on Wednesday, October 30, 2018 when Troopers were dispatched to the Relax Inn located at 30702 Sussex Highway at approximately 8:28 a.m., for a report of a female who was being held against her will and forced to perform sex acts on people.  Upon arrival, Troopers located a 22-year-old female victim from Maryland.  It was learned that the victim had been taken back and forth between Delaware and Maryland against her will and forced to perform commercial sex acts on multiple people in exchange for compensation.
Three suspects were initially taken into custody at the Relax Inn without incident, 25-year-old David B. Goodwin of Federalsburg, MD, 27-year-old Kevonne L. Murphy of Federalsburg, MD, and 38-year-old Lakeya N. Aldridge of Federalsburg, MD.
Through investigative measures a fourth suspect was identified as 30-year-old Joshua Lankford of Federalsburg, MD.
All four suspects were charged with the following:
  • Kidnapping First Degree
  • Human Trafficking – Sexual Servitude
  • Trafficking an Individual
  • Conspiracy Second Degree
Goodwin, Murphy, and Aldridge were transported back to Troop 4 and arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court 3.  Goodwin and Murphy were committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $100,000.00 cash only bond.  Aldridge was committed to the Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution on $102,000.00 cash only bond.
On November 2, 2018 Lankford was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Task Force at a residence in the 3000 block of Holland Drive, Federalsburg, MD without incident.  He was extradited back to Delaware where he was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court 2 and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $102,000.00 cash only bond.
If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1-800 842-8461).  You may also email the unit Director at

Friday, October 12, 2018

Undercover operation leads to 24 arrests in child sex crimes

Photos of the 24 men arrested as part of undercover operation led by the Mesa Police Department to find child sex criminals.

Local law-enforcement agencies made 24 arrests during a six-day period as part of an undercover operation targeting child sex crimes.

Mesa Police Department joined with Tempe, Gilbert and Chandler police departments as well as the Attorney General’s Office to conduct the operation, Mesa police officials announced Tuesday in a news release.

"Officers and undercover detectives placed ads on websites commonly sought out by suspects seeking illegal sex acts," the release said.

Officials say the suspects, who ranged from 21 to 80 years old, were arrested after being suspected of soliciting and/or brokering deals for various sex acts.

A list of the suspects' names and charges can be viewed here.

"Crimes involving children are of the highest priority and I appreciate our partnership with all the agencies involved in the successful removal of these dangerous child predators from our community," said Ramon Batista, chief of police for the Mesa Police Department, in the news release.

Mesa Police Department said it conducts similar operations every year to reduce the demand for child and human sex trafficking in the area.

Officials urge anyone with information about someone being trafficked to contact their local police department or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Doctors and cops among 277 arrested in human trafficking, online prostitution sting in Florida

  • Posted: 
  • Updated: 
POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - A week-long undercover sting targeting human trafficking and online prostitution in Polk County ended with 277 arrests that included doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement officers.
"That's the most we have ever arrested in the history of the sheriff's office," Sheriff Grady Judd said.
"Operation No Tricks, No Treats" started last Tuesday, October 10 and ran through Monday, October 16. During that time, undercover detectives posted fake ads or profiles online posing as prostitutes or someone who solicits prostitutes. Other detectives responded to profiles and ads posted by prostitutes.
According to the sheriff's office, 51 of the arrests were related to those who advertise as prostitutes online and 209 of the arrests were those who solicited undercover detectives posing as prostitutes. Seventeen arrests were made for other offenses.
Sheriff Judd identified some of the suspects arrested in the undercover operation as doctors and pharmacists, former and current law enforcement officers, a lawyer, two men who traveled to have sex with minors and two sex offenders.
These are some of the men arrested that the sheriff identified:
  • Cancer surgeon at Tampa General Hospital
  • Pediatrician at Health Care Alliance in Wesley Chapel
  • Teacher from Lake Academy
  • Active Colonel in the US Marine Corps
  • Air Force veteran
  • Retired Broward County deputy sheriff
  • Retired police officer from Birmingham, Alabama
The sheriff's office even caught one of their own. Former Sergeant Luis Diaz resigned from the force after 17 years.
"We are absolutely embarrassed," Sheriff Judd said. "We hold our own accountable. He messed up and no longer works for the Sherriff's Office."
Investigators say 215 suspects drove to Polk County from locations throughout Florida. Some were in the state visiting from Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
"Welcome to Polk County," Judd said to them during his news conference.
Polk County detectives worked with detectives and investigators from Haines City police, Lakeland police, Lakes Wales police and Winter Haven police.
"We are committed to fighting human trafficking by arresting those who engage in prostitution and trying to identify human trafficking victims," Sheriff Judd said in an earlier news release. "It's no secret…you need to stay out of Polk County if you're going to commit crime."
Those arrested for soliciting a prostitute were:
1AdamsMark2/11/66WMRuskin, FL
2Aderhold JrJohn7/30/83WMStatesboro, GA
3AlbertJohn8/12/86BMWinter Haven, FL
4AlcantarCesar10/2/79HMLakeland, FL
5AldanaNelson5/3/77HMTampa, FL
6AlejandroSamuel11/5/94HMKissimmee, FL
7AndrewsDexter4/11/91BMKissimmee, FL
8AntoineEddy3/28/53BMRiverview, FL
9AugusteSteve5/14/86BMOrlando, FL
10BarbosaJoel9/12/81BMKissimmee, FL
11Beltran-ApontePedro11/22/98HMKissimmee, FL
12BenjaminShuai2/17/96BMKissimmee, FL
13BennettJustin5/12/89WMMulberry, FL
14BertiDeigo1/14/76HMKissimmee, FL
15Blas-AvilesAldo3/25/97HMMulberry, FL
16BowmanRyan3/17/79WMTampa, FL
17BranchLashown10/24/88BMLakeland, FL
18BritoJonathan5/26/81HMTampa, FL
19BrownWilliam4/6/81BMDavenport, FL
20Brown JrGuy2/27/86BMClermont, FL
21BurgessStephen2/24/69WMTampa, FL
22BurkeMarvin5/1/90BMApopka, FL
23CaballeroJorge8/27/66HMAuburnale, FL
24CariasJuan6/24/79HMTampa, FL
25CastroHarry12/8/75WMOviedo, FL
26CeberoCarlos8/22/74HMMulberry, FL
27ChaemchoeyNavapat3/19/84OMLakeland, FL
28ChanRobert10/22/71AMLakeland, FL
29ChapelleSpencer10/7/87WMKey Largo, FL
30ChenPeter1/21/67AMPlant City, FL
31ConteRichard2/3/75WMClermont, FL
32CourtneyArthur3/6/88WMKissimmee, FL
33CruzRichard8/6/94HMKissimmee, FL
34CunhaEduardo4/2/68HMApopka, FL
35DaultaHemant2/6/93IMTampa, FL
36DavisEric10/26/69BMLand O' Lakes, FL
37DavisLarry2/25/43WMLakeland, FL
38DebesaSerafin6/22/81WMWinter Haven, FL
39DiazLuis11/22/73HMPolk County,FL
40Dos-SantosWilliam4/27/83OMKissimmee, FL
41DowdyDonald8/2/63WMPlant City, FL
42DugueDiego11/22/78HMKissimmee, FL
43DuranChristian7/23/91HMRuskin, FL
44DustalKevin3/12/66WMLakeland, FL
45EllisonEric6/14/71BMTampa, FL
46EscobarAlec8/9/97HMLakeland, FL
47EscobarJulio10/26/88HMWinter Garden, FL
48Espina-PalmaOwen3/28/78HMPlant City, FL
49Etheridge, Jr.Percy3/14/70BMWinter Haven, FL
50FeltonDennis12/29/92WMTampa, FL
51FeregrinoAlegandro11/14/95HMDavenport, FL
52FernandezJeran5/28/95HMDundee, FL
53FernandezEdgar11/26/97HMDavenport, FL
54FerrerDaniel5/3/91WMDavenport, FL
55FigueroaFrancisco6/2/92HMOrlando, FL
56FisherJason4/19/85WMBrandon, FL
57FlorescaVirgil9/1/77AMSt. Pete, FL
58Flores-SolorzanoFrederik2/16/91HMLake Worth, FL
59ForeroHarold1/31/71HMTampa, FL
60ForestJonathan3/28/88WMPolk City, FL
61FosterChandler5/1/92WMKeizer, OR
62FranquizJesus3/31/72HMDavenport, FL
63FreemanFrank5/28/65WMMagnolia, DE
64GalindoDruso2/22/68HMOdessa, TX
65GarciaRenado1/29/88AMLakeland, FL
66GeddadaSuresh5/10/84AMTampa, FL
67GibrilAmro6/21/89IMOrlando, FL
68GilbertJonathan2/22/87BMTampa, FL
69GonzalezCarlos10/30/92HMWinter Haven, FL
70GonzalezAlexis6/15/79HMDavenport, FL
71Gonzalez-QuintanaYandy6/1/84HMTampa, FL
72GoveyJohn6/22/62WMWinter Haven, FL
73GreggRon3/22/95BMBrandon, FL
74GuptaShobhit11/15/89WMClermont, FL
75HaChau9/7/79WMLakeland, FL
76HallThomas10/8/63BMTampa, FL
77HarrisWilliam6/10/77WMPinellas Park, FL
78HarrisonCarlon3/4/80BMKissimmee, FL
79HawkinsMarcus11/30/98OMRiverview, FL
80Hernandez JrMiguel6/4/97HM 
81Hernandez JrAlberto12/31/81HMPlant City, FL
82HillCreston6/7/88BMTampa, FL
83HongAlfredo12/15/89OMKissimmee, FL
84HoustonJames5/16/80BMDelmar, DE
85HowellEmery3/24/62WMHighland City, FL
86HoyosUlises9/7/87HMDover, FL
87HugginsBraxton4/27/94BMLakeland, FL
88HulbertJustin7/25/93WMOrlando, FL
89HullDavid5/10/58WMLand O' Lakes, FL
90HundleyJordan2/28/99BMLakeland, FL
91HuntsingerChris5/14/73WMGastonia, NC
92JacobSalil11/23/66WMValrico, FL
93JohnsonDemetres8/21/70BMKissimmee, FL
94JohnsonDaniel7/18/89WMWinter Garden, FL
95JonesDarius4/20/89BMLakeland, FL
96JonesDortrie6/11/83BMOrlando, FL
97Juan-MartinezJose3/3/95HMTampa, FL
98JUVENILE 17 yrs oldHMOrlando, FL
99JUVENILE 16 yrs oldHMClermont, FL
100JUVENILE 17 yrs oldHMOrlando, FL
101JUVENILE 17 yearsIMLakeland, FL
102KambleShashikant3/10/87IMTemple Terrace, FL
103KawasmehSaad10/4/74OMOrlando, FL
104KhadseAkshay7/15/92OMOrlando, FL
105KhaledGebarin1/19/51OMTampa, FL
106KimmellSamuel8/10/92WMNevada, MO
107KingTony5/13/80WMTarrytown, GA
108KlotchDouglas4/24/46WMPalmetto, FL
109LagoanAben6/3/85BMLakeland, FL
110LanierRaymond3/22/84WMPlant City, FL
111LeeElliott2/25/85BMDunwoody, GA
112LetchworthSamson9/11/80WMLakeland, FL
113LopezAngel9/14/89HMLakeland, FL
114Lopez-BorregoJose8/23/74HMTampa, FL
115LopshireJordan8/5/87WMMatthews, NC
116LowesAdrian12/8/73WMWinter Springs, FL
117LucasMarco2/21/93HMLakeland, FL
118LykenLawrence4/22/93BMDublin, GA
120MaclinJustin7/17/97BMRiverview, FL
121MaldonadoYonatan3/6/98HMOrlando, FL
122Marin-SosaMigdonio4/19/63HMOrlando, FL
123MartinezAlejandro12/5/84HMLongwood, FL
124Martinez-MaldonadoCarlos4/24/81HMRiverview, FL
125MathesKevin7/26/67WMMulberry, FL
126McGowanJohn3/29/96WMAvon Park, FL
127McSwainNicholas4/5/82BMLakeland, FL
128MejiasOmar10/22/91HMCape Coral, FL
129MelendezAlfredo11/23/91HMTampa, FL
130MeliaAnthony7/22/64HMDickenson, TX
131MerkielMichael3/25/87WMPlant City, FL
132MerrillWillie3/14/78BMLakeland, FL
133MillerMichael5/19/73WMMelbourne, FL
134MillerDavid3/4/59WMOcala, FL
135MirandaLuis10/16/95BMLakeland, FL
136MitchellFoley12/7/82BMDetroit, MI
137MontanezFrancisco8/24/54HMLakeland, FL
138MontesanoAnthony6/2/73WMLakeland, FL
139MoralesRichard12/3/78HMBrandon, FL
140MuscatoDavid11/4/56WMLithia, FL
141NetoMario6/25/97HMLakeland, FL
142PaschallDeatrick4/5/76BMLakeland, FL
143PatelBhavikkumar8/5/75IMLakeland, FL
144PattersonMark7/21/59WMPlant City, FL
145PenaJose8/11/77HMClermont, FL
146PerezJuan8/7/84HMKissimmee, FL
147PerezGonzalo4/15/96HMPlant City, FL
149PerezJose11/23/87HMSt Petersburg,FL
150PersaudShawn4/6/95IMOrlando, FL
151PetiRichard9/29/65WMElizabeth, NJ
152PilatoChase10/2/96WMOrlando, FL
153PonceCarlos10/1/76HMLakeland, FL
154PotnuruSamrat3/16/91IMLake Mary, FL
155ProctorPatrick3/17/56WMToronto, CA
156QuinteroEnrique2/1/90HMFrostproof, FL
157RachkoJared3/8/99WMWinter Park, FL
158RamirezHector1/16/92HMNorman Park, GA
159RamirezRaul10/11/90HMSan Jose, CA
160RamirezMatthew6/21/96HMWimauma, FL
161RamirezAntonio5/14/96HMNorman Park, GA
162RamjitRyan4/12/84IMOrlando, FL
163RamosEduardo8/6/83HMOrlando, FL
164RectorJames10/7/58WMClermont, FL
165ReddickShaquon2/27/97BMEustis, FL
166ReyChristopher11/25/86WMClearwater, FL
167ReynoldsDonald10/2/54WMHoover, AL
168RichmanBrian6/6/79WMWinter Springs, FL
169RiveraJessie6/5/93HMPlant City, FL
170RiveraHector2/15/86HMTampa, FL
171RiveraChristopher1/4/72WMDavenport, FL
172RodriguezDavid10/21/90HMBaton Rouge, LA
173RodriguezJuan Luis11/2/78HMOrlando, FL
174SaikhoSengdao3/23/71AMLakeland, FL
175SalgaldoLuis3/18/90HMOrlando, FL
176SanchezDalbim12/25/89HMBrandon, FL
177ScottKevin10/29/65BMNorfolk, VA
178SerebrowskiYisroel8/12/77WMOrlando, FL
179SerranoMerlin9/17/76HMMiami, FL
180Silva Da RosaAllessandro2/21/78HMOrlando, FL
181SinghVijay8/1/70OMTampa, FL
183Smith,Jr.Charles2/18/69WMPlant City, FL
184SteinhauerJoshua4/4/78WMBrandon, FL
185StokesChristopher8/19/84WMMulberry, FL
186SuarezOmar2/28/83HMBrooksville, FL
187SummersRobert5/17/74WMTampa, FL
188SwainMalcolm11/22/59WMLongwood, FL
189TadlockRex7/9/53WMPlant City, FL
190TaipaleChristopher2/26/79WMSumpter, MI
191TannerCharles8/21/78BMPlant City, FL
192TaziHicham7/11/83OMOrlando, FL
193TerceroSantiago2/25/85HMTampa, FL
194TomainoSteven9/21/66WMAustin, TX
195TorresJoseph4/14/94HMOrlando, FL
196TorresAramis3/18/72HMDavenport, FL
197Trejo-MartinezJoakin5/4/94HMMulberry, FL
198VasquezJuan3/13/75HMWinter Haven, FL
199VegaSanto1/23/77HMKissimmee, FL
200WalshMichael10/13/87WMClermont, FL
201WardChristopher12/27/74WMBartow, FL
202WatersRaymond6/24/68BMPalmetto, FL
203WilkersonLeon11/14/77BMRiverview, FL
204WillettTyler8/22/85WMOcoee, FL
205WilliamsKenneth9/26/81BMLakeland, FL
206WoodTravis2/3/91WMMulberry, FL
207YagualJose9/25/73HMGroveland, FL
208ZhuYe12/5/82AMCape Coral, FL
209ZollJustin12/14/78WMRiverview, FL
Those arrested for offering to commit prostitution were:
1AbrahamElly11/24/95HFKissimmee, FL
2AllenPriscilla10/5/90BFTampa, FL
3BaihatTabatha2/2/85WFOrlando, FL
4BuckleyShannon6/18/94WFKissimmee, FL
5CastendykPaul9/11/97WMMulberry, FL
6CollinsLatoya8/25/81BFOrlando, FL
7CortesEduardo1/22/71BMTampa, FL
8CradradoGiselle11/7/91HFOrlando, FL
9Davila-RodriguezYesenia12/27/89HFClearwater, FL
10DobbsAmber4/18/96WFOrlando, FL
11Doby-MorrisAntoine2/16/88BMHollywood, FL
12EavesKokiela10/20/89BFTampa, FL
13FigueroaAmanda3/13/95HFKissimmee, FL
14FinnSteven4/28/80WMCoral Gables, FL
15GlennCatiesha11/28/85BFTampa, FL
16GonzalezVictoria3/29/90HMTampa, FL
17Gonzalez-PerezYoel8/8/84HMTampa, FL
18HarrisRegina10/18/88BFAtlanta, GA
19HeiserHeather6/21/80WFTampa, FL
20HerronKiana10/19/95BFOrlando, FL
21IsaulaJunior6/1/97HMMiami, FL
22JeuneYasmick4/5/88BMPompano Beach,FL
23JohnsonLeah8/4/78WFLakeland, FL
24KnockenusRhonda9/18/84WFBartow, FL
25MartinezVictoria9/28/89HFTampa, FL
26MirandaYessenia1/20/86HFDavenport, FL
27MorejonEduardo7/13/90HMTampa, FL
28MukeshArlene6/23/97IFWinter Garden, FL
29NazarioNicole9/27/96HFOrlando, FL
30NewtonShornlin7/5/84BFOrlando, FL
36PowersJosefina8/29/60WFPort Orange, FL
37RibelinBrittani12/30/91WFRiverview, FL
38RiversRobert10/25/89BMTampa, FL
39RobinsonChina12/13/97WFFt L Lauderdale,FL
40ScottMarcel1/16/95HMSt. Pete, FL
41ShaversChevy9/10/90BFTampa, FL
42SimmonsMegan10/26/90BFWinter Haven, FL
43SmithSarah2/27/86WFWinter Park, FL
44StanleyTiffany4/18/78WFTampa, FL
45SulavkaAlex1/8/99WMPinellas Park, FL
46Talavera-RamosFabiola7/29/93HFKissimmee, FL
47VickersKelsey4/4/94WFNew Bern, NC
48VillavicencioJennifer11/13/86WFTampa, FL
49WhitfillJessica4/15/92WFOrlando, FL
50WoodKayla9/30/92WFDebarry, FL
51WorleyKambriel1/29/83BFOrlando, FL
Others arrested were: 
1AriaBrianna3/2/96HFOrlando, FLTransporting for Prostitution
2BrinkleyKeivon4/5/94BFOrlando, FLDeriving proceeds from Prostitution proceeds from Prostitution
3CarbonellGeorge5/28/75WMHomelessPoss of Meth, Heroin, & paraphernalia
4Chavez IIIAlejandro9/28/85HMPlant City, FLDeriving proceeds from Prostitution proceeds from Prostitution
5CruzGladibel8/19/76HFOrlando, FLDWLSR Knowingly
6FayMegan7/17/87WFThonotosassa, FLAiding & Abetting Prostitution, Transporting Offer to commit Prostitution
7HamiltonDrumond1/14/80BMDeland, FLPossession of Marijuana
8HawkinsBentley4/20/64WMDavenport, FLLewd Battery, Use 2-Way Communication Device, Travel to Meet a child
9HernandezAbdiel3/17/76HFTampa, FLBattery
10McSweeneySean8/18/88BMOrlando, FLDeriving proceeds,Ecstasy,Paraphernalia
11PattersonLarry12/14/88BMOrlando, FLPoss cocaine WITS, Poss vehicle to sell drugs, Resisting arrest, Loitering, Poss paraphernalia
12PernaherreraAlvaro7/10/94HMOrlando, FLTraveling to meet minor, Use of computer to seduce child, Transmisstion of material harmful, Lewd Battery
13PlastiniLouis4/4/48WMOrlando, FLDeriving proceeds from Prostitution proceeds from Prostitution
14VasquezArmando10/27/57HMSpring Hill, FLHuman Trafficking
15VaughnWilliam8/9/79WMTampa, FLPoss firearm by convicted felon, Poss controlled substance, Poss Cocaine, Poss Meth, Poss Marijuana
16VieraAngela5/5/86WFSt. Cloud, FLTrafficking Cocaine, Resisting arrest, Loitering, Poss Marijuana & Paraphernalia
17WalkerAmy5/6/86WFValrico, FLTransporting for Prostitution