Sheriff: Men Forcefully Took Lubbock Girl to New Mexico for Prostitution

LEA COUNTY, New Mexico (KMID/KPEJ) - Three men face human trafficking charges after a sheriff's deputy discovered a juvenile girl traveling with them from Lubbock to Carlsbad, New Mexico to engage in prostitution, according to a release from the Lea County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy determined that the girl was being taken against her will. The investigation began during a traffic stop on Monday night around 11 on U.S. Highway 62/180 in New Mexico, the release states.

Jerry Johnson, 29, (pictured far left) was driving the car, which was originally stopped for speeding. Toquan Yates, 22 (pictured far right) and Dequante Jackson, 22 (pictured center) were both passengers in the car along with the juvenile female. All of the men and the girl were from Lubbock. The three men were arrested on felony charges of human trafficking and false imprisonment, authorities say. The report states that Johnson did not have a driver's license and that an open alcohol container was visible in the car.

The girl was taken into protective custody with the Children Youth and Family Divisions, a release states.

The Lea County Sheriff's office says the three suspects were booked into the Lea County Detention Facility in Lovington, N.M. Investigators say that due to the nature of the crime of Human Trafficking, Homeland Security was contacted and that there is a possibility that this case could be prosecuted at a federal level. No bond has been set for the three suspects as of Wednesday afternoon.


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