Month: August 2011
Police: Suspects Face Human Trafficking, Pimping Charges
SAN FRANCISCO — A Sacramento couple was arrested Saturday at a South San Francisco hotel on suspicion of forcing three teenage girls into prostitution, police said.
Officers went to a hotel in the 300 block of South Airport Boulevard on a tip that a runaway girl had been seen near the property at about 4 p.m., according to South San Francisco police.
When they arrived at the scene, officers said they found a 19-year-old woman and two juvenile girls in a room at the hotel.
The room was registered to 40-year-old Mahendar Singh, who was found in another room at the hotel, police said.
Singh and the three girls were taken into custody after police said they found evidence of prostitution in both hotel rooms.
During questioning, all three girls said they were being forced into prostitution by Singh and his wife, Helen, 22, of Sacramento, police said.
Helen Singh was found at the hotel and arrested along with her husband, police said.
Mahendar and Helen Singh were booked into San Mateo County Jail on charges of human trafficking under the age of 18, pimping, pandering and conspiracy.
The three girls were released to their parents, police said.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, CA-United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner recently announced that a federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment charging Tynisha Marie Hornbuckle, 22; Tamrell Rena Hornbuckle, 25; Latrelle Alicia Hornbuckle, 23; Cherrelle Elizabeth Hornbuckle, 24; Tammy Rena Brown, 43; and Jacquelin Lanoise Radisha Wade, 24; all of Sacramento, with conspiring to commit sex trafficking of minors by force, fraud, or coercion and with various other charges including the sex trafficking of minors, tampering with witnesses, and making false statements relating to their sex trafficking of minors. The four Hornbuckles are sisters. Tammy Rena Brown is their mother. The defendants were arrested on July 29.
According to the indictment, between July 31, 2008 and May 5, 2011, all of the defendants conspired to force and coerce minors to engage in commercial sex acts. During this time, the indictment alleges that all of the members of the conspiracy directed the activities of prostitutes; provided transportation to minors in furtherance of the sex trafficking activity; purchased motel rooms and allowed their residences to be used for prostitution; purchased clothing for the girls to use while they were working; and used force, the threat of force, fraud, and coercion to control the girls who worked for them.
The Hornbuckles and Brown are also charged with sex trafficking three different minor females, and using force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion to cause the three females to engage in commercial sex acts. In addition, these defendants are charged with participating in a venture that profited from the sex trafficking of minors.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Innocence Lost Task Force, a task force made up of the FBI, the Sacramento Police Department, and the Sacramento County Sheriff. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon is prosecuting the case.
If convicted of the conspiracy, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The sentence for sex trafficking of children is no less than 10 years and up to life in prison. The maximum statutory penalty for tampering with witnesses is 20 years in prison. The maximum statutory penalty for making a false statement is eight years in prison. Each offense carries a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, a lifetime terms of supervised release could be ordered upon a conviction for sex trafficking. The remaining convictions carry terms of supervised release of up to three years. The actual sentences, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
(See link below for video)
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Six people, including a mother and her four daughters, are accused of running a sex slave ring. Police say for three years the women sold underage teens for sex, and they now face felony criminal charges. What’s even more shocking is a friend of one of the suspects tells CBS13 she is seeing more women turning to pimping.
“Man, I can’t imagine having them being pimped out,” said Bryan Stephens, a neighbor of the family.
“That’s basically what they do out here,” said Tammy Ann Victor, a neighbor.
Some residents in one South Sacramento neighborhood are not shocked to hear that a family of five women: four sisters and their mom are accused of teaming up with a family friend to become lady pimps.
“They can’t be having that out here. Pimping little 13-14 years old out here,” said Stephens.
“This is the first time I’ve seen multiple family members involved in anything like this,” said Assistant US Attorney Kyle Reardon.
Reardon is prosecuting the women. They’re the Hornbuckle girls. They’re all college age and feds say the women found several trusting young girls and worked them.
“The girls are attracted by promises of money. They’re attracted by promises of power and travel,” said Reardon.
The Hornbuckles allegedly sold them to johns and frequently taking them to a local motel. Investigators say it went on for three years.
A friend of one of the suspects says today’s young teenage prostitute bonds more quickly with lady pimps than men.
“Most guys are rough. Women are more gentle, motherly,” said Victor.
“You might be looking, as everybody is, for some kind of love and affection,” said Ellyne Bell with The Wind Youth Services.
Bell runs a shelter for abused and homeless teens. She says 90 percent of the girls they help are have been sexually exploited. There’s a market for boys too.
“We don’t hear about it as much, but its affecting young men as well as young women,” said Bell.
The feds say the women were caught after feeling comfortable enough to market the teens online. Investigators say lady pimps are not the motherly type.
“Beaten by their pimps, being abused by their pimps being robbed by the johns that come in and have sex with them,” said Reardon.
There is a 13-count indictment against the family. The feds are hoping the six women spend many years behind bars.
There’s no word on the condition of the three victims.