Eight charged with gang-related child sex trafficking

After a year-long joint investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has arrested 8 people in Albany on charges of child sex trafficking and violation of the gang statute.

On October 23, 2019, the Albany Police Department requested the investigative assistance of the GBI regarding the commercial sexual exploitation of children, also known as child sex trafficking. 

On August 2, 2019, the Albany Police Department received a report regarding the rape and commercial sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old girl. The victim reported being trafficked during an almost two-month period from June 2019 through August 2019 in Albany. The trafficking of the victim ended when the juvenile victim was able to run away from her traffickers. 

According to the GBI, during this investigation, it was discovered that the juvenile victim was posted numerous times on one specific website as an adult. The girl was advertised for sexual interaction in exchange for money.  She was advertised by multiple members of the Inglewood Family Gang Bloods. 

Inglewood Family Gang and The Family, is a subset of the larger criminal street gang known as the Bloods. 

Both are national criminal street gangs and can be found throughout the United States. Specifically, both are located within Georgia and commit crimes within Georgia.

According to the GBI, gang members made the arrangements for the 16-year-old to have sexual encounters with numerous men over the almost two-month period in exchange for money.  These arrangements are also known as “plays.”  The child sex trafficking occurred in multiple locations within Albany, including hotels and motels, vehicles and residences.  Additional members of the gang participated in the trafficking by providing locations for the “plays,” transportation to the “plays,” and by being onsite facilitators while the victim was trafficked for sexual purposes. The investigation revealed that the proceeds from the child sex 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 combatting this detestable and devaluing crime.”

The following individuals have been charged for their various roles in the sex trafficking of a child victim and gang activity:

Korina Johnson, age 18

Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

Aggravated Sodomy

RICO

Robert Wingfield, age 19

Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude

Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

RICO

Jeston Yates, age 29

Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude

Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

RICO

Ronaldo Patterson, 29

RICO

Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude

Johnny Shanard Howard, age 33

RICO

Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude

Tre’Shawn Malik Smith, 20

RICO

Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude

Byrant Terrell Hooker, age 32

Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

RICO

Jamie Rosier, age 30

Trafficking of Person for Labor or Sexual Servitude

Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

RICO

Violation of Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

On Monday, November 23, the following subjects were taken into custody.

Korina Johnson, arrested on the 500 block of South Madison, Albany, Georgia

Johnny Shanard Howard, arrested at Briarwood Apartments, 2415 Briarwood Drive, Albany, Georgia

Robert Wingfield, arrested at 500 block of Cochran Avenue, Albany, Georgia

Jeston Yates, Goodwill, arrested at 2015 North Slappey Blvd, Albany, Georgia

Johnson, Howard, Yates and Wingfield were transported to the Dougherty County Jail where they are currently being housed.

Ronaldo Patterson turned himself in to the Albany Police Department.

Tre’Shawn Smith, Bryant Hooker and Jamie Rosier were already incarcerated on unrelated charges when they were served with arrest warrants related to this investigation. Tre’Shawn Smith is currently housed at the Dougherty County Jail. Jamie Rosier is currently incarcerated at the Coffee County Correctional Facility. Bryant Hooker is currently incarcerated at the Jones County Jail.

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

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