Eight arrested in child sex trafficking investigation in Albany

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

This investigation was a coordinated effort involving the GBI’S Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, the GBI’s Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office, the Attorney General’s Office and the Albany Police Department.

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

On Aug. 2, 2019, the Albany Police Department received a report regarding the rape and commercial sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old juvenile female. The female reported being trafficked during an almost two-month period from June 2019 through August 2019 in Albany.

The trafficking of the girl ended when she was able to run away from her traffickers.

During this investigation, it was discovered that the teen was posted numerous times on one specific website as an adult female.  The teen was advertised for sexual interaction in exchange for money.  The teen was advertised by multiple members of the Inglewood Family Gang (IFG) Bloods, according to a release from the GBI.

Inglewood Family Gang (IFG) and The Family, is a subset of the larger criminal street gang known as the Bloods.  Both the Bloods and IFGB are national criminal street gangs and can be found throughout the United States.  Specifically, both are located within Georgia and commit crimes within Georgia.

Members of this gang made the arrangements for the juvenile to have sexual encounters with numerous men over the almost two-month period in exchange for money, according to a release from the GBI.  These arrangements are also known as “plays,” according to the release.  The child sex trafficking occurred in multiple locations within Albany to include hotels and motels, vehicles and residences.

Additional members of this street 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.  This 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,” Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said in the release.  “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:

  • Korina Johnson, 18, RICO – O.C.G.A. Section 16-14-4(c), violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act (F) – OCGA, Section 16-15-4 (a) and aggravated sodomy – O.C.G.A. Section 16-6-2(a)(2).
  • Robert Wingfield, 19, trafficking of person for labor or sexual servitude – O.C.G.A. Section 16-5-46(c)(2), violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act (F) – OCGA, Section 16-15-4 (a) and RICO – O.C.G.A. Section 16-14-4(c) .
  • Jeston Yates,  29, trafficking of person for labor or sexual servitude – O.C.G.A. Section 16-5-46(c)(2), violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act (F) – OCGA, Section 16-15-4 (a) and RICO – O.C.G.A. Section 16-14-4(c).
  • Ronaldo Patterson, 29, RICO – O.C.G.A. Section 16-14-4(c) , violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act (F) – OCGA, Section 16-15-4 (a) and trafficking of person for labor or sexual servitude – O.C.G.A. Section 16-5-46(c)(2).
  • Johnny Shanard Howard, 33,  RICO – O.C.G.A. Section 16-14-4(c), violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act (F) – OCGA, Section 16-15-4 (a), trafficking of person for labor or sexual servitude – O.C.G.A. Section 16-5-46(c)(2).
  •  Tre’Shawn Malik Smith, 20, RICO – O.C.G.A. Section 16-14-4(c), violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act (F) – OCGA, Section 16-15-4 (a) and trafficking of person for labor or sexual servitude – O.C.G.A. Section 16-5-46(c)(2).  
  • Byrant Terrell Hooker, 32, violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act (F) – OCGA, Section 16-15-4 (d) and RICO – O.C.G.A. Section 16-14-4(c)
  • Jamie Rosier, 30, trafficking of person for labor or sexual servitude – O.C.G.A. Section 16-5-46(c)(2), violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act (F) – OCGA, Section 16-15-4 (e) and RICO – O.C.G.A. Section 16-14-4(c), violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act (F) – OCGA, Section 16-15-4 (a).

Monday, police took Johnson, Howard, Wingfield and Goodwill into custody. They are lodged in the Dougherty County Jail.

Patterson turned himself in to the Albany Police Department.

Smith, Hooker and Rosier were already incarcerated on unrelated charges when they were served with arrest warrants related to this investigation.

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