16-year-old escapes Georgia sex trafficking gang; several people arrested, Gov. Kemp announces

16-year-old escapes Georgia sex trafficking gang; several people arrested, Gov. Kemp announces

ATLANTA — A teenage girl is free and several accused gang members are under arrest after authorities busted an alleged sex trafficking operation.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, GBI Director Vic Reynolds and Attorney General Chris Carr announced the details of the yearlong operation on Tuesday.

According to the GBI, the Albany Police Department received a report about the rape and commercial sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old girl. The victim, who was able to escape, told authorities that she had been trafficked for nearly two months from June through August 2019 in Albany.

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During this investigation, it was discovered that the victim was advertised as an adult several times online for sex for money.

The GBI says multiple members of the Inglewood Family Gang were responsible for the sex trafficking. The gang is allegedly a subset of the notorious Bloods gang.

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Members of this gang made the arrangements for the girl to have sex with numerous men over the almost two-month period in exchange for money, the GBI said.

The child sex trafficking took place in multiple locations within Albany, including hotels and motels, cars and homes. Other members of the gang participated by providing locations for the encounters.

“If it’s in Albany, there’s a good likelihood it’s in virtually every corner of the state,” Reynolds said.

Investigators said the profits from the trafficking were being used to finance the gang and the illegal activities of that gang.

“The damages of Human Trafficking are difficult to repair and these young victims need plenty of assistance in getting their lives back while regaining their self-esteem,” said Albany Police Chief Michael Persley. “I will continue to pledge my support in fighting Human Trafficking while using all resources available to bring to justice those who prey on other human beings for the sole purpose of financial gain. I am thankful for Director Reynolds and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for their efforts in combating this detestable and devaluing crime.”

This is the second major child sex trafficking bust in Georgia. Three months ago, we told you about law enforcement rescuing nearly 39 children in a sex trafficking operation that spanned across 20 Georgia counties. The children ranged in age from 3 to 17 and nine suspects were arrested.

“We will continue to sending a message to criminal gang members, human traffickers and those that think they are the above the law. You are not and we will continue to come after you in this state,” Kemp said. “We will do whatever it takes until every community is safe.”

These are the suspects arrested in the most recent operation.

Korina Johnson, age 18

  • RICO - O.C.G.A. Section 16-14-4(c)
  • Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (F)
  • Aggravated Sodomy

Robert Wingfield, age 19

  • Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude
  • Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (F)
  • RICO

Jeston Yates, age 29

  • Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude
  • Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (F)
  • RICO

Ronaldo Patterson, 29

  • RICO
  • Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (F)
  • Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude

Johnny Shanard Howard, age 33

  • RICO
  • Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (F)
  • Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude

Tre’Shawn Malik Smith, 20

  • RICO
  • Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (F)
  • Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude

Byrant Terrell Hooker, age 32

  • Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (F)
  • RICO

Jamie Rosier, age 30

  • Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude
  • Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (F)
  • RICO
  • Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (F)

Anyone with information about human trafficking within Georgia should call 1-866-ENDHTGA (1-866-363-4842).