Authorities arrested 12 people in connection with a trafficking ring operated in Colorado Springs and elsewhere along the Front Range that used the Internet to pimp out teen girls.
The girls, aged 15 and 17, were exploited primarily by self-declared Crips gang members who drove them to Colorado Springs as well as Denver, Aurora, Commerce City, Lakewood and Parker for prostiution jobs. The gang members advertised the two girls on the website Backpage.com, court papers said.
The girls, identified in court records by the initials D.R. and L.T., were forced to give up more than half of the money they made through prostitution, court papers said.
Police arrested eight people allegedly involved with pimping the girls out as well as four men who police say solicited the underage girls for sex.
The case is being prosecuted by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office in Denver district court.
The case in Colorado Springs revolved around 42-year-old Lewis Smith and 42-year-old Phaedra Robinson, said Carolyn Tyler, Attorney General’s spokeswoman. They’re accused of recruiting the girls to enter the sex trade and pimpimg them out between June 20 and July 27. Robinson and Smith set the rates the girls would be paid for sex and chose hotel rooms where they would render their services, court papers say.
Prosecutors allege they also gave the girls clothing to use. Other details weren’t available on the Springs cases.
Also arrested in connection with the ring were: Lawrence Richard Martinez, 22; Reginald James Ryan, 31; Angela Jeanine Ryan, 42; Robert Kenth Drinkwater-Mills, 19; Mercedes Devon Sanders, 22 and Hollie Gene Mintour, 40. Those arrested as alleged “johns” were: Hayatullah Khazi, 28; Grant Richard Schoengarth, 32; Richard Neil Gottbreht, 63, and Nathan Theodore Homh, 36. They were arrested on suspicion of child prostitution and patronizing a prostituted child.
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Read the indictment in this case. (PDF, 26 pages)