GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A major Gwinnett County human trafficking investigation led to the arrest of eight people and the rescue of four women who had been trafficked in homes and motel rooms across the county, according to state and municipal investigators.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Section led the investigation, which involves the sale of a minor and spans from January to July 2022, according to arrest warrants. Nine people in total have been charged with various crimes related to human trafficking, street gang associations and in some cases violation of the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
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The investigation involved homes in Lawrenceville and Snellville, an apartment complex in Norcross and a Motel 6 in Duluth, according to arrest warrants.
“You don’t know what’s going on in people’s homes,” said a neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous. They live next to a home where trafficking allegedly occurred.
A Snellville short-term rental is where investigators say multiple suspects helped sell a minor for sex. The home on Shiloh Hills Road, a mile from Shiloh High School, has been a concern for some neighbors for months.
“Airport transport vehicles have been pulling up with many people in them,” the neighbor told Channel 2′s Matt Johnson.
Advocates for human trafficking survivors say that traffickers are migrating away from motels, where trafficking training is conducted more often among staff, and toward short-term rental homes.
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“These short-term rentals are a key place for those who want to exploit the vulnerable,” said Camila Zolfaghari, executive director of Street Grace in Gwinnett County, who assists survivors of human trafficking and has trained motel staff on trafficking dangers.
Four women in total were rescued in the operation and will now receive services and treatment for trauma.
“There’s violence and there is a lot of mind control involved,” said Mary Frances Bowley, who helps juvenile and adult survivors at Wellspring Living. “And then of course the act of abuse is very traumatizing.”
The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Chris Carr’s Human Trafficking Prosecution unit.
Warrants were obtained Nov. 11 for Sean Curry, Bobby Downing, Jadah Henry and Sean Harvey for multiple counts of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, among gang charges. Brianna Adames-Joe is in custody on one count of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude and violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. Tyreek Lee and Hilton Dobbins face charges of pimping and street gang violations. Eric Johnson is in custody on street gang and weapons charges. Jayda Veronica Wilson, 24, is not yet in custody but a warrant for conspiracy to violate the RICO Act has been secured.
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