Local News

12 arrested in Colo. child sex trafficking ring

DENVER - The Colorado Attorney General's Office announced the arrests of twelve people involved in a statewide child sex trafficking ring.

Eight of the twelve individuals are accused of participating in a criminal enterprise that exploited juveniles through human trafficking and pimping-related activities.

Juvenile girls were posted for sale on Backpage.com and made available to "johns" for sex acts, according to the Attorney General's Office.  Four of the known "johns" are also in custody, and the underage girls are receiving treatment in undisclosed locations. 

The criminal enterprise operated in Denver, Aurora, Commerce City, Lakewood, Parker and Colorado Springs. 

The Attorney General's Office secured a 36-count indictment against the ring which led to the arrests of Lawrence Richard Martinez, 22, Reginald James Ryan, 31, and Angela Jeanine Ryan, 42, who are all self-reported gang members.

Robert Kenth Drinkwater-Mills, 19, Lewis Jerome Smith, 42, Mercedes Devon Sanders, 22, Phaedra Lanee Robinson, 42, and Hollie Gene Mintour, 40, made up the criminal enterprise.

The "johns," Hayatullah Khazi, 28, Grant Richard Schoengarth, 32, Richard Neil Gottbreht, 63, and Nathan Theodore Hom, 36, are under arrest for charges including soliciting for child prostitution and patronizing a prostituted child. 

Click here to see photos of those arrested.

Innocence Lost Task Force member Sergeant Steele and his task force members led the investigation of this gang-based, domestic sex-trafficking ring and worked cooperatively with the Colorado Attorney General's Special Prosecutions Unit to indict this criminal enterprise.

"These arrests are the result of a cooperative investigative effort focusing federal, state and local resources on street predators who exploit vulnerable children," said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone. "The message is clear; the Innocence Lost Task Force will aggressively investigate and seek prosecutions for those who prey on the young and innocent."

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