8 Utahns indicted for child sex trafficking

UTAH – A federal grand jury in Utah has indicted eight people for alleged sex trafficking of children. If convicted, each defendant faces a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, with the potential to receive up to life in federal prison.

A federal grand jury returned four indictments on July 21. Arrest warrants were executed Tuesday as a part of an investigation by the FBI and the Salt Lake City Police Department. The indictments were unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.

“Sex trafficking of children is a crime we take very seriously,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said in a press statement released Friday. “We appreciate the commitment and coordinated efforts of the FBI and the Salt Lake City Police Department in investigating these four cases. With the arrests made and the indictments unsealed, the criminal court process will now begin.”

A federal grand jury in Utah indicted eight people for alleged sex trafficking of children. Not pictured: Thomas Marte-Pena | Photos courtesy of Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Abiodu Damiloca Salankole – also known as “Case” – 20, of West Jordan, is charged with two counts of sex trafficking of children in one indictment. His alleged victims are two minors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Gloire Seba, 21, of Sandy, and Kyle Jason Hale, 21, of Riverton, are charged in a nine-count indictment for sex trafficking of children, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and transporting a minor for prostitution. The alleged victims in this indictment are four minors.

Saquan Marcell Smith, 23, and Raquel Consuela Knell, 21, both of Salt Lake City, are named in a third indictment and are charged with four counts of sex trafficking of children and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking involving two minors.

Ashley Nicole Poike, 23, of Sandy, Hector Yordano Irizarry Castro, 24, of Salt Lake City, and Thomas Marte-Pena, 27, of Salt Lake City, are named in a nine-count indictment alleging sex trafficking of children, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, transportation with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. This indictment involves one adult victim and two minor victims.

Some victims of the alleged crimes are included in more than one indictment, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. As this report is published, information about the alleged victims has not been released.

Salt Lake City Interim Police Chief Mike Brown said these cases represent an important opportunity for state and federal law enforcement agencies to coordinate on investigating a serious crime.

“Very few crimes are as serious as crimes against children,” Brown said. “Anytime we can disrupt that cycle of violence, it’s a huge step in the right direction. I applaud our partnerships and the concerted effort made by everyone to get these alleged criminals off the street and away from future victims.”

All of the defendants charged in the indictments had initial appearances in federal court Wednesday afternoon and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Knell and Kyle were released subject to supervision by the U.S. Probation Office. The other six defendants are in custody, with several detention hearings set for Monday.

If convicted, each defendant charged with child sex trafficking faces a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence with the potential to receive up to life in federal prison. Transporting a minor for prostitution carries the same potential sentence.

Those charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking could also be sentenced up to life in federal prison. Transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity has a potential maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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28 Comments

  • beentheredonethat August 14, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    10 year minimum sentence? Look at the mugshots. That’s 7 years witth good behavior. Just kill them when they are found guilty. Dont house, feed or try to rehabilitate them. If the jury does not find them guilty let the victems parents drive them home. Problem solved.

  • 42214 August 14, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I wish they didn’t publish photos. I’m stereotyping and feel terrible about it. I should be uniting, not dividing. Is that what you want Big Guy? I bet you want to make St George a sanctuary city.

    • BIG GUY August 15, 2015 at 7:52 am

      42214, I have no quarrel with posting booking photos. As you say, “facts is facts.” But notice that the story above does not mention race or ethnicity. Why not? Because they are irrelevant…unless one is interested in feeding racist stereotypes. I take liberals to task for their tendency to identify people by class and group and pander to them as “victims” of one kind or another.
      .
      I am in favor of the rule of law: sanctuary cities are in violation of Federal law and those openly acting to thwart immigration laws should be charged with abetting criminal activity. And that includes President Obama with his patently illegal executive order.

      • 42214 August 15, 2015 at 9:07 am

        I completely agree with everything you said in your 2nd paragraph. I just don’t mind mentioning race in crime stories for suspects or victims because it is an element of the story.

      • GrandmaB August 16, 2015 at 8:19 am

        Yea, well you ought to tell your Chamber of Commerce and all those good St. George citizens who are employing undocumented workers at below minimum wage. Because, 42214, you have a bunch of them here. And they are here because they are being paid to be here. All you raving hypocrites, you know the Tea Bagger GOPer’s, of which I’m sure your one, who turn your blind eyes to the fact that sanctuary and good jobs are really important for these folks. If I thought you were all just being good people, and trying to help folks that really need it, I would applaud you. But that isn’t it, is it? Nope. Not in good ‘ole St. George. Obama has done more to close the borders than any other president. You freak. But the good ‘ole boys don’t really want it closed. They just want to pretend. While they are paying all these people starvation wages, snickering all the way to the bank, and publicly decrying the practice. There are not words to describe the hypocrisy you people practice.

        • 42214 August 16, 2015 at 12:52 pm

          I can’t win. I get called a Bammie lovin liberal by Mesaman and a Tea Bagger by Granny. Which retard is right, Mesa or Granny?

          • Dexter August 16, 2015 at 4:49 pm

            LOL.! just goes to show you how stupid they both are

  • knobe August 15, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I know life at the bottom of the economic totem pole is hard BUT
    Selling children for sex is Still the E ticket to hell .
    Alas , none of the circles of hell are hot enough . . .
    Maybe time for the 10th circle made especially for child traffickers .

  • knobe August 15, 2015 at 9:43 am

    BTW – did they get any of the predators that BUY the kids ?
    BOTH ends of this garbage chain need to be eliminated .

    !

  • tcrider August 15, 2015 at 9:52 am

    now this would make for some good target practice for the utah firing squad,

  • Cuberantcamper August 15, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Just look over to Colorado City.

  • Dexter August 15, 2015 at 11:36 am

    If they were FLDS members they wouldn’t be in custody

    • Simone August 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      In Joe Smiths day when people trafficked children like that they gave those people a blessing and promoted them to stake or relief society president.

    • Real Life August 16, 2015 at 12:00 am

      “Dexter” is also a product of repeated inbreeding. Shut up stupid.

      • Dexter August 16, 2015 at 9:01 am

        REAL LIFE VILLAGE IDIOT is also a product of repeated inbreeding. Shut up stupid

  • GrandmaB August 15, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    These kinds of crimes still don’t warrant the same response as the killing of a white man. Especially by a woman. Until the attitudes toward women and children change completely, this will continue. We are not your property. • The average prison sentence for men who kill their intimate partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced, on average, to 15 years. The sexual victimization of children warrant 10 years. Our system is broken. Seriously. Target the dealer, but don’t go after the buyer. This is exactly the same ad the immigrant problem. Target the immigrants but don’t target the buyer, who is paying them cents on the dollar for legal labor. Men are running this country. It is obvious. It is time to change that.

  • sagemoon August 15, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Scum bags.

  • fun bag August 15, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    what will happen when their bishop finds out about this?

    • ladybugavenger August 16, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      They will get promoted 😉

      • Dexter August 16, 2015 at 4:53 pm

        They will become Apostles

  • GrandmaB August 16, 2015 at 8:24 am

    You want to know who the buyers are? White professional men. Usually in good standing with the community, pillars of the churches and holders of the American dream. The ones that believe sex is a disgusting, evil necessity. These guys also believe that women are the downfall of the human race, and any sexual deviancy is caused by women, including rape and incest. Children are owned. To be used for their pleasure. Nope, they won’t go after the buyers.

    • fun bag August 16, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      GrandmaB sounds like a disgruntled mormon housewife

  • mmmbacon August 16, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Wow Grandma is a bitter feminist that hates the world!

    • 42214 August 16, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      One word, Hormones.

      • Dexter August 16, 2015 at 4:51 pm

        yeah she doesn’t have any friends.. LOL! I can see why

  • fun bag August 16, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    “child sex trafficking” is probably a misleading statement in this case. It’s probably some 16 or 17 yrs olds that blend in well with the rest of this “crew”. If it were some 9 or 12yr olds it would be another story… anyways though, how come you mormons let these kinds of things go on in the holy land of Zion???

    • fun bag August 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      but I’m not saying these low lifes shouldn’t be strung up. And is anyone surprised that the ‘head pimp’ is a black man???.

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