Traffic stop leads to discovery of human trafficking

Traffic stop leads to discovery of human trafficking

ELECTRA, TX (KAUZ) - An Amarillo man is behind bars in Wichita County charged with human trafficking.

On March 9 around 5:00 a.m. officers with the Electra Police Department stopped a vehicle following a traffic violation.

There were three men and three women in the vehicle.

One of the men, Jirehn Lamarr Curtis, Jr., 20, was arrested at the scene for Possession of a Controlled Substance after ecstasy pills were found on him.

None of the occupants of the vehicle had valid drivers' licenses so the vehicle was impounded.

The two remaining men and three women were given a ride to the Electra Inn Motel.

After the arrest and transport of Curtis, officers discovered the other people in the vehicle had possibly given false information regarding their identity.

Later that morning, around 8:00 a.m., officers returned to the Electra Inn Motel to identify the subjects officers believed had given them false names.

During a search of the hotel rooms, drug paraphernalia and evidence of human trafficking and sex trade were found.

The two men were identified as Rodney Alonzo Smith, Jr. and Kamron Darrell Douglas.

The three women were identified in the arrest affidavit only by age.

Officers found out two were 17-year-old girls and the third was 18-years-old.

Following the discovery in the hotel room, officers did an online search of a commercial sex trade, human trafficking, and prostitution website called Backpage.com

Ads titled "The best you'll have in Electra" were found with photos of two of the three girls.

Six cell phones were seized after officers interviewed all the occupants at the Electra Inn Motel.

The three girls were taken to Patsy's House where they were interviewed and admitted to being on Backpage.com but denied the men had any involvement.

On March 14, search warrants were approved for the cell phones.

Evidence of human trafficking was found consistent to officers suspicions.

Jail calls on Curtis were obtained by police. According to officers, in the recordings, Curtis is heard during multiple conversations referring to one of the 17-year-old girls not being in motel rooms for the purpose of prostitution while Curtis was not present.

On May 11, officers interviewed Curtis who admitted to posting one of the 17-year-old girls on Backpage.com and stated he had texted "licks," also known as customers and arranged for customers to pay for sexual acts with the 17-year-old.

Following the investigation, Curtis was charged with Trafficking a Person for Prostitution on top of the possession charge.

Curtis is behind bars in the Wichita County Jail on a $102,500 bond.

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