Four Federal Indictments Unsealed Alleging Sex Trafficking of Children, Transportation of Minors
SALT LAKE CITY—Four indictments unsealed late Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City charge eight individuals with sex trafficking of children and other related violations of federal law. A federal grand jury returned the indictments July 21. Arrest warrants were executed Tuesday as a part of an investigation by the FBI and the Salt Lake City Police Department.
“Sex trafficking of children is a crime we take very seriously,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today. “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.”
Abiodu Damiloca Salankole, aka Case, age 20, last known address unavailable, is charged with two counts of sex trafficking of children in one indictment. The counts allege conduct involving two victims, both minors who had not attained the age of 18 years.
Gloire Seba, age 21, of Sandy and Kyle Jason Hale, age 21, of Riverton are charged in a nine-count indictment with sex trafficking of children, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and transporting a minor for prostitution. This indictment involves four minor victims.
A third indictment charges Saquan Marcell Smith, age 23, and Raquel Consuela Knell, age 21, both of Salt Lake City, with four counts of sex trafficking of children and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking involving two minor victims.
Three individuals are charged with 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 in a nine-count indictment. Charged in this indictment are Ashley Nicole Poike, age 23, of Sandy; Hector Yordano Irizarry Castro, aka Jordan, age 24, of Salt Lake City; and Thomas Marte-Pena, aka Luigi, age 27, of Salt Lake City. This case involves one adult victim and two minor victims.
Some victims of the alleged crimes are included in more than one indictment.
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,” said Brown.
“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. Knell and Kyle were released subject to supervision by the U.S. Probation Office. The other six defendants are in custody with several detention hearing set for Monday.
The potential maximum penalty for sex trafficking of children is life in federal prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence. The potential penalty for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking has a penalty of any term of years or life. Transporting a minor for prostitution also carries a potential life sentence with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence. Transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity has a potential maximum sentence of 10 years.
Indictments are not findings of guilt. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.