Home Jacksonville Press Releases 2010 Six Indictments Returned After Extensive Jacksonville Child Prostitution Investigation

Six Indictments Returned After Extensive Jacksonville Child Prostitution Investigation

U.S. Attorney’s Office August 16, 2010
  • Middle District of Florida (904) 301-6300

JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton announces the return by federal grand juries of six indictments based on crimes discovered during “Operation Abandoned Hope,” an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office into child prostitution allegations of sex trafficking of a minor (a girl, age 15) between February 24, 2010 and March 31, 2010:

  • Ian Sean Gordon (age 29, of Tallahassee) was indicted on May 13, 2010, and charged with sex trafficking of a minor. Among other things, the indictment charges that Gordon enticed the minor, who was forced to engage in commercial sex acts. If convicted as charged, Gordon faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years to a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
  • Melvin Eugene Friedman (age 45, of Jacksonville, Florida) was indicted on July 28, 2010, and charged with sex trafficking of a minor, conspiracy to distribute more than five (5) grams of cocaine base, aiding and abetting in the possession of cocaine base, using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possessing a firearm after being convicted of felonies.Among other things, the indictment charges that Friedman enticed a minor while knowing that the minor would be forced to engage in commercial sex acts. The indictment also charges that Friedman conspired to distribute more than five(5) grams of cocaine, aided and abetted others in possessing cocaine, and made his residence available for the use and distribution of cocaine. The indictment further charges that Friedman possessed a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking crimes and after he had been convicted in Florida courts of manslaughter, sale or delivery of cocaine, and possession
    of burglary tools. If convicted as charged, Friedman faces minimum mandatory penalties of 20 years and a maximum penalty of two consecutive life sentences plus 70 years.
  • Phillip Anthony Aiken ( age 28, of Jacksonville) was indicted on July 28, 2010, and charged with sex trafficking of a minor. Among other things, the indictment charges that Aiken obtained a minor while knowing that the minor would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act. If convicted as charged, Aiken faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
  • Oris Alexander English (age 45, of Jacksonville) was indicted on July 28, 2010, and charged with sex trafficking of a minor. Among other things, the indictment charges that English obtained a minor while knowing that the minor would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act. If convicted as charged, English faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
  • Alfredo Martinez Riquene (age 42, of Jacksonville) was indicted on August 12, 2010, and charged with sex trafficking of a minor. Among other things, the indictment charges that Riquene obtained a minor while knowing that the minor would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act. If convicted as charged, Riquene faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years to a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
  • Antonio D. Ford (age 28, of Jacksonville) was indicted on July 28, 2010 and charged with misprision of a felony. Among other things, the indictment charges that Ford had knowledge of the sex trafficking of a minor and failed to notify federal authorities. If convicted as charged, Ford faces a maximum penalty of up to three years in federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Albritton stated: ’We are committed to protecting children from those who prey on vulnerable youngsters and subject them to these horrible sex crimes. I applaud the efforts of those with the FBI and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office who worked diligently to make Operation Abandoned Hope a success.”

Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division James Casey stated: “While all human trafficking violations are offensive to our collective conscience, those involving the exploitation of minors reflect the worst our society has to offer. The FBI is firmly committed to aggressively pursuing these investigations and holding the violators accountable.”

Jacksonville Sheriff John H. Rutherford stated: “I am very proud of the men and women of our Integrity/Special Investigations Unit for the their hard work and diligence in this investigation. The exploitation of any child, especially a case involving forced sexual activity, is heinous. We will continue to bring to bear the full weight of our combined local and federal law enforcement partnerships against suspects, as we did in this case, by involving the FBI and federal prosecutor.”

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mac D. Heavener, III.

This case is also part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 that is designed to protect children from online sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information on Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

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