FBI Announces Results of Operation Cross Country X
Atlanta/Athens/Augusta, Georgia Operations Net 16 Traffickers, Five 'Travelers,' Two Murder Fugitives Wanted in Florida, 54 Adult Prostitutes; Plus One Juvenile Recovered and Nine Firearms Seized
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with representatives from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and several international law-enforcement partners, today announced that, domestically, 82 minors were rescued and 239 traffickers and their associates were arrested as part of Operation Cross Country X, an international effort focusing on underage human trafficking which ran from October 13 to 15, 2016. This is the 10th iteration of FBI-led initiative, which took place across the United States and, for the first time, also took place in several countries around the world. Law enforcement partners from Cambodia, Canada, the Philippines, and Thailand had operations in their respective countries. The results of Operation Cross Country X were announced today by FBI Director James Comey and NCMEC Director John Clark at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) convention in San Diego, California.
“Operation Cross Country aims to shine a spotlight into the darkest corners of our society that seeks to prey on the most vulnerable of our population,” said FBI Director Comey. “As part of this effort, we are not only looking to root out those who engage in the trafficking of minors, but, through our Office of Victim Assistance, we offer a lifeline to minors to help them escape a from a virtual prison no person ever deserves.”
Operations took place in a number of locations, including hotels, truck stops, and street corners. Minors recovered during an arrest are engaged with state protective services and victim assistance. Depending on the level of need, a law enforcement officer and, if available, an FBI victim specialist will accompany the survivor to obtain these services. Any adult arrested pursuant to state charges will be processed by state and local law enforcement partners assisting in Operation Cross Country.
“Child sex trafficking is a global problem and we must throw every resource we can at combatting it,” said NCMEC Director John Clark. “All of us at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are proud to work side by side with the FBI and their law enforcement partners as we work tirelessly every day to find and rescue child victims and while ensuring that those responsible for this horrible crime are held accountable.”
As part of Operation Cross Country X in Georgia, Atlanta FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH) conducted two search warrants; seized seven firearms; recovered one juvenile victim in Lake City, Georgia; and arrested 15 pimps/traffickers as well as 54 adult prostitutes.
Those arrested for pimping/human trafficking related charges are:
- Tracy Smith, age 30, arrested in Alpharetta, Georgia
- Dujuan Walker, age 35, arrested in Alpharetta, Georgia
- Shaka Belgrave, age 28, arrested by Dekalb County Police Department
- Jernesha Jachelle Cummings, age 20, arrested by Gwinnett County Police Department
- Natasha Smith, age 28, arrested by Alpharetta Police Department
- Michael Karp, age 55, arrested by Alpharetta Police Department
- Anthony Wynn , age 45, arrested by Alpharetta Police Department
- Ron Ralph, age 32, arrested by Dunwoody Police Department
- Jetonga Daraya Jackson, age 36, arrested by Dunwoody Police Department
- Brandon Marquiz Ruffin, age 33, arrested by Dunwoody Police Department
- Tory Collins, age 33, arrested by Marietta Police Department
- Sydney Sheffield, age 19, arrested by Marietta Police Department
- Vanessa Lynn Fuller, age 29, arrested by Gwinnett County Police Department
- Tony Rashad Colin, age 28, arrested by Dunwoody Police Department
- Reginald McGlotten, age 21, arrested by Dunwoody Police Department
- Shunterrio J. Thomas, age 32, arrested in Augusta, Georgia
Operations in Athens, Georgia resulted in the arrests of five individuals who were traveling in furtherance of having sex with a minor child. Two firearms were also seized.
Those arrested in Athens, Georgia are as follows:
- Jennings B. Summerour, age 66, of Athens, Georgia
- Harold C. Williams, age 47, of Stephens, Georgia
- Joshua P. Harkins, age 29, of Habersham, Georgia
- Randy E. Ash, age 35, of Winder, Georgia
- Mohammed Nihal Patel, age 22, of Eatonton, Georgia
Operations in Augusta, Georgia resulted in the arrest of one pimp/trafficker.
In addition, and as part of this operation, arrests were made in Atlanta of two fugitives, Arthur Lee Coleman, III, age 26, of Apopka, Florida, and Karla Michelle Quiros-Alsina, age 20, of Orlando, Florida, wanted out of Orlando, Florida for the murder of a 14-year-old sex trafficking victim, as well as the exploitation of a 15-year-old minor. They were arrested after this operation developed a lead that appeared to have them offering the services of juveniles. While there were no juveniles present, full identification was made on both adults, which were flagged with warrants related to first-degree murder, human trafficking of a child, procuring a minor for prostitution, racketeering, and possession and transmission of child pornography. They, along with two other individuals, are alleged to have trafficked two juvenile females (14 and 15 years old), forcing them into prostitution and providing them with drugs. The 14-year-old was later found dead of an overdose.
George Crouch, acting special agent in charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “The many men and women of law enforcement, working hand in hand with the various non-government organizations who provide specialized relief and services to those being victimized by this brand of human trafficking, understand the problem and are the tip of the spear in addressing this problem. I commend each and every one of them for their hard work and selfless dedication in doing everything possible to recover these victims and apprehending those responsible for their exploitation.”
Operation Cross Country X is the largest ever in the history of the initiative, with 55 FBI field offices and 71 state and local task forces taking part in the operation in 106 cities across America. In addition, several dozen operations across Canada, and approximately 10 operations took place in six cities across Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Operation Cross Country X is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost Initiative, which began in 2003. These teams work all year to recover minor trafficking victims. Since the inception of the program, there have been more than 6100 child identifications and locations.
Georgia’s participating agencies in this year’s Operation Cross Country X are as follows:
FBI, Atlanta Police Department, Alpharetta Police Department, Gwinnett County Police Department, Brookhaven Police Department, Dunwoody Police Department, Roswell Police Department, Johns Creek Police Department, Sandy Springs Police Department, Lake City Police Department, Norcross Police Department, Smyrna Police Department, Cobb County Police Department, Kennesaw Police Department, Marietta Police Department, Milton Police Department, Henry County Police Department, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Richmond County Marshals Office, Athens Clarke County Police Department, Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, Dekalb County Police Department, Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Attorney General’s Office, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Georgia Department of Family and Children Services. Also providing assistance to law enforcement wereGeorgia Cares, iCare, Out of Darkness, and 4Sarah.
The above are merely allegations and the public should be reminded that all persons are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.