Mississippi Arrests Made in Sex Trafficking Crackdown

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Jackson, Miss.

Two Jackson residents were arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on sex trafficking by the FBI.

Justin D. Hurst, 25, and Audrey Lashay Tillman, 27, were arrested and appeared in federal court Tuesday pursuant to criminal complaints charging them with recruiting, enticing, transporting, providing and maintaining female children under the age of 18 to engage in commercial sex acts.

Both Hurst and Tillman were held without bond pending a detention hearing Thursday.

On June 19, the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force conducted an undercover operation in support of a nationwide enforcement initiative called “Operation Cross Country VIII” aimed at deterring child exploitation throughout the United States.

As a part of the operation, undercover officers responded to an Internet ad on a site known to law enforcement to be used for prostitution. As a result, a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl, both victims of child sex trafficking, were rescued by law enforcement when they were brought to a Ridgeland, Miss., hotel.

The FBI says nearly 170 victims of child sex trafficking, many of whom had never been reported missing, were rescued across the country as part of the operation.

Almost 300 pimps were arrested during the same period on state and federal charges.


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