Child Sex Ring Busted in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY – FBI agents and Salt Lake City police arrested eight people after a long term investigation into child sex trafficking.

Four indictments unsealed late Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City charge the eight individuals with the sex trafficking of children and other related violations.

“Sex trafficking of children is a crime we take very seriously,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said Thursday.  “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, 20, has been charged with two counts of sex trafficking children.

Gloire Seba, 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, 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.

Ashley Nicole Poike, 23, of Sandy, Hector Yordano Irizarry Castro, 24, of Salt Lake City and Thomas Marte-Pena, 27, of Salt Lake City, were all 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. This case involves one adult victim and two minor victims.

“Very few crimes are as serious as crimes against children,” said Salt Lake City Interim Police Chief Mike 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 were in federal court Wednesday afternoon and all entered pleas of not guilty.

Both Knell and Kyle were released under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office while the other remaining defendants are still in custody pending a hearing set for Monday.

All the defendants face life in prison as the potential maximum penalty for sex trafficking of children is life in federal prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.


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