Two alleged members of the Folk Nation/Gangster Disciples gang in El Paso pled guilty in a sex trafficking case that could land the pair in federal prison for up to twenty years, according to local news reports. Kiry Hakeem Nalls and Grant Rutledge, both age 25, pled guilty early this year and face sentencing soon. These convictions come as part of a series of arrests of people by a joint task force of federal agents from ICE and the FBI as part of the federal Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam).
In March 2013, a woman who was being held against her will and forced to have sex with men for money tried to escape from a local motel according to a recent article in the El Paso Times. The woman was subjected to her arms being cut as well, according to court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas.
When she tried to escape by running to another room at the motel, Nalls allegedly took her out of the room and beat her, according to court testimony. Nalls then threw her into his car and took her out into the desert where she was assaulted again, according to court records. The car was allegedly driven by Rutledge. When the three individuals returned to the motel, police were already on the scene and made the arrest at that time, according to court records.
Court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas detail the specifics of their charges. Rutledge is scheduled to face sentencing on March 31st and is expected to receive up to three years in prison for his role in the incident. Nalls will be sentenced on April 16th and faces up to twenty years in prison. Both men, who will appear before U.S. District Court Judge Philip Martinez, also face a fine of up to $250,000 each.
According to a January press release obtained by Breitbart Texas, these convictions are part of a larger, ongoing case that also led to the arrest of an El Paso juvenile probation officer from El Paso County. Timothy McCullouch, Jr., 28, faces one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and one count of sex trafficking a minor, according to the report.
Under the same indictment, five other members of the El Paso gang were charged for their roles in trafficking. Those were, Deion Lockhart, 25, Brandon Shapiro, 21, Tai Von Lynch, 20, Richard Gray, 24, and Emmanual Lockhart, 23.
These defendants all remain in custody pending a trial that is set for June, 6.
The press release claims, “According to court records, the defendants were involved in the forced prostitution of juveniles and adults by the Folk Nation/Gangster Disciples street gang between May 2012 and March 2013. The defendants used a combination of force, fraud and coercion to compel their victims to have sex for money in El Paso and Killeen, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Colorado.”
“HSI’s participation in ACTeam goes hand-in-hand with its commitment to identify and investigate human trafficking threats, as well as protect victims’ rights and bring traffickers to justice,” said Dennis A. Ulrich, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso. “We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to dismantle human trafficking networks in our community.”
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