Six Arrested in Child Prostitution Ring in Jefferson County
|FBI Denver February 13, 2014|
This press release was originally issued by the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Jefferson County, Colorado.
First Judicial District Attorney Peter Weir announced today that five men and one woman have been arrested as part of a child human trafficking ring operating in Jefferson County. One remaining suspect is being sought by police. The arrests of these individuals who are facing charges related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children are the result of a joint operation of the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force, Lakewood Police Department, and the District Attorney’s Office.
The investigation began in November 2012 when one of the victims reported to a counselor that she had been sexually assaulted by a man named Daniel, who was later identified as Daniel Onodera, the alleged ringleader of the child prostitution ring.
There were three female victims identified in this operation; one was 13 and two were 16 years old. The girls did not know each other but had similarities. They had each run away from home and were truant from, school and each had been lured into the prostitution net by drugs.
Through the course of the investigation, a complex, multi-layer operation was uncovered in which young girls were given methamphetamine and forced to have sex with members of the ring, their associates, or strangers in exchange for money or drugs allegedly paid to Onodera or other members of the prostitution ring.
The criminal activity is alleged to have been based out of the Timberleaf Apartments at 1388 Garrison in Lakewood between December 2011 and November 2012. According to court records, one or more of the defendants leased or lived in apartments at the complex where the victims were invited or taken and given drugs. Two of the victims are alleged to have been sexually assaulted by members of the organization and were also forced to have sex with strangers while Onodera or others received money or drugs in payment.
Alleged ringleader Daniel Byron Onodera (date of birth December 10, 1971) has been charged with trafficking of a child; pimping of a child; sex assault of a child; solicitation of a child for prostitution; pandering; keeping a place of child prostitution; child prostitution-inducement; contributing to the delinquency of a minor; and two violent crime counts.
Five others have been arrested and they have been charged according to their alleged participation:
- Marshall Deron Ashton (date of birth February 23, 1982)
- Nickolas Alan Silk (date of birth December 7, 1990)
- Kevin J. Snuggs (date of birth March 26, 1987)
- Pamela Jean Lewis (date of birth April 29, 1956)
- Zelian Ashbury Shaw (date of birth June 3, 1993)
“Human traficking, the trafficking of children for prostitution, is a serious issue in Jefferson County and throughout the Denver metro area. Those who engage in this activity target and groom the most vulnerable of our youth. These defendants preyed upon young women, coercing them into sexual activity,” said District Attorney Pete Weir. “The dismantling of this group disrupts their operations and is a significant step towards protecting other children from being lured into this sexually exploitive environment.”
A seventh member of the alleged child trafficking ring has been identified as Mark Wayne Turturice (date of birth November 8, 1959). A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Anyone with information about Mr. Turturice should contact the Lakewood Police Department at 303-987-1111.
Onodera, Lewis, and Ashton will be back in court on February 19 to be advised of the charges filed against them. Snuggs will be in court on February 28. Silk and Shaw were arrested in Denver on the Jeffco warrants and will be transported to the Jefferson County Detention Center.
Contact for the District Attorney’s Office:
Pam Russell, Public Information