June 24, 2014

Operation Cross Country VIII

JACKSON, MS—Justin D. Hurst, 25, and Audrey Lashay Tillman, 27, both of Jackson, were arrested and appeared in federal court today pursuant to criminal complaints charging them with recruiting, enticing, transporting, providing and maintaining female children under the age of 18 to engage in commercial sex acts, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. Both Hurst and Tillman were held without bond pending a detention hearing which will be held on Thursday, June 26 at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson.

On June 19, 2014, the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force conducted an undercover operation in support of a nationwide enforcement initiative called “Operation Cross Country VIII” aimed at deterring child exploitation throughout the United States. As a part of the operation, undercover officers responded to an Internet ad on a site known to law enforcement to be used for prostitution. As a result, a 15 year old girl and a 17 year old girl, both victims of child sex trafficking, were rescued by law enforcement when they were brought to a Ridgeland, Mississippi hotel.