Investigators are a step closer to filing charges against two suspected human traffickers after filing two warrants Tuesday.
In one case, a woman filed a report Aug. 4 alleging a 34-year-old man trafficked her for sex and threatened her with a gun as her children sat in the backseat.
The woman told deputies after she and the man met, the two messaged each other and she’d mentioned posting a couple of ads for sex, she told investigators with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
After picking up her and her children and driving them to Spokane to spend time together, the man encouraged her to solicit herself in Spokane, saying they could make thousands of dollars, she told investigators.
He drove her to dates in the area as her children sat in the backseat. He kept the money from one of the woman’s dates and allowed her only part of the money she’d been paid from another date, she told deputies.
He then drove her and her children to a truck stop in Idaho and ordered her to try to make dates with truckers. He told her not to come back until she’d made $1,000. She said she was scared because he had her kids in the car and she was not sure what he was capable of, according to court documents.
After telling the man there was no business at the truck stop, he brought her and her children to Motel 6 on Argonne Road in Spokane Valley and fell asleep, holding his gun on his chest, she told investigators.
The next day, as he tried to drive her to dates and she refused to go, he pulled over the car “violently,” pointed the gun at her head and ordered her to give him her money, she told deputies. He sped off as she reached into the car for her phone, knocking her down and causing scrapes.
Deputies preserved the man’s Facebook account in August before he changed his profile name.
In another case, deputies acting undercover as buyers of sex arrived at a “date” in February with a different woman, suspected of prostitution, and found another man had driven her to the date, according to court documents. A search of their phones showed the woman had messaged that man about her “dates” and how much money she would be making.
In August, the woman started posting ads in Kent, Washington, where law enforcement began an investigation of her and the second man. In October, she started posting ads in Spokane again and an undercover officer set a date with her, according to court documents.
At the hotel where they were set to meet, deputies learned the room was listed under the second man’s name.
After arresting the woman for a prior warrant, deputies got permission from a judge to search her phone to investigate possible sex trafficking.