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November 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM
A Seattle man who used “charm, intimidation and violence” to coerce girls and young women into working as prostitutes was sentenced last week to 35 years in prison, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
A King County jury in September convicted Shacon Barbee of two counts each of promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree promoting prostitution, one count of leading organized crime, two counts of first-degree theft and one count of second-degree theft. Although the standard sentence range was 20 to 26 years, prosecutors recommended a 35-year exceptional sentence because of the “ongoing pattern of sexual exploitation of the minor victim and because of the defendant’s extensive criminal history,” according to the prosecutor’s office.
Barbee, 34, is a Level III sex offender who has a long criminal history, including convictions for second-degree child rape and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, according to court records.
Barbee was arrested in December 2010. Charging documents alleged that since 2007, Barbee had led an “organized criminal enterprise” in which he used “charm, intimidation and violence to recruit and manage females.” Prosecutors and police said he forced three young women into working as prostitutes and then pocketing all of the money they earned. On most days, each woman earned more than $1,000 working as a prostitute, prosecutors say. (more…)
October 16, 2013 at 10:37 AM
The Associated Press
PORTLAND — An ex-Oregon State Police detective accused of having sex with a prostitute while on duty pleaded guilty Monday to official misconduct and was sentenced to seven days in the Multnomah County Jail.
KOIN reports 50-year-old Richard Narvaez worked for Oregon State Police for 23 years and resigned in September.
He was assigned to the Tribal Gaming Section and was on duty, but not in uniform, last August when he was seen having sex with a woman in an empty lot in southeast Portland.
The woman in the case was arrested on prostitution and public indecency charges and for violating probation.
August 27, 2013 at 8:11 AM
UPDATED: 1:55 p.m. | At a news conference in Tukwila this afternoon, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and Tukwila Police Department Assistant Chief Bruce Linton said that the three hotels at the center of the investigation have accounted for 17 percent of all calls for police services in the past year.
Despite intense efforts to educate and work with the owners, the properties remained a huge drain on police and a blight on the city , said Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton.
Durkan said investigators believe the owners actively profited from criminal activity and that residents were involved. Typically, she said, the owners would direct potential customers to certain rooms for drugs and sexual services and take a cut of the profits.
Durkan said this is not only a “new day for a part of the city of Tukwila,” but also a warning to other owners of similar hotels and properties.
In addition, she said, this demonstrates how the US Attorney’s office will not only prosecute criminal activity but will actively use the tools of forfeitures and seizures to force compliance with the law
Federal and state law-enforcement officers poured into Tukwila along Highway 99 this morning seizing three motels whose operators are suspected of participating in illegal drugs and prostitution.
The operation involved about 200 officers at the scene and another 200 who helped develop the case during a year-long investigation that culminated in this morning’s raid, according to Tukwila Police Commander Eric Drever.
A federal criminal complaint, filed last week and unsealed today, charges seven people –including the managers and owners of the three motels — with attempted distribution and distribution of crack cocaine. According to the charges, a paid undercover informant purchased cocaine in deals set up with hotel residents by the hotel managers during the past month.
The complaint identified three of the defendants as Jaspal Singh, Lakhvir Pawar and Kulwinder Saroya, who federal prosecutors say ran and owned the hotels: the Great Bear Motor Inn, The Boulevard Motel and the Traveler’s Choice
In addition, a detailed, 48-page civil complaint filed in U.S. District Court seeks to forfeit the properties as proceeds from illegal transactions, including drug dealing and money laundering.
The complaint says that the hotels have been the focus of an inordinate amount of crime and calls for police. It states that the problems date back several years, however during 2011 and 2012, almost one of every six calls for service to Tukwila Police Department were to those three motels. “The crimes for which police responded to the Target Motels include, among others: rape, robbery, assault, drug transaction, gun crimes, prostitution and stolen property,” the civil complaint says.
“The investigation revealed that the owners of the properties are engaged in, encouraging and making significant cash profits from criminal activity at the Target Motels,” wrote Special Agent Joe Miller of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in a sworn affidavit.
A federal warrant authorizing this morning’s raid was unsealed this morning. Several people have been taken into federal custody. Some individuals were picked up by local authorities on other outstanding warrants.
July 31, 2013 at 3:27 PM
Federal attorneys in Seattle have added an armed career criminal enhancement to their indictment of Jamaal “JJ” Bomber, a 29-year-old charged in federal and state court with pimping and drug-dealing following his arrest last month.
Bomber, whose criminal history includes three prior drug convictions, was arrested at a Tukwila motel on June 14 on a federal arrest warrant for allegedly selling cocaine to undercover agents on three separate occassions, court records show. He was also charged in King County Superior Court with promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor, accused of pimping out a 16-year-old Tukwila girl, according to charging documents.
Following his arrest, police served a search warrant on his car and found a loaded shotgun in the trunk, along with cocaine, heroin and evidence linking him to a number of prostitution ads posted on Backpage.com, a Tukwila police sergeant said at the time. As a felon, Bomber was barred from possessing a firearm.
Bomber was ordered held at the federal detention center in SeaTac by a U.S. Magistrate judge, who cited Bomber’s history of failure to appear in court and failure to comply with supervision; his lengthy criminal history, which includes multiple assaults; his history of escape; his “significant involvement” in human trafficking, including the trafficking of minors; and the strength of the evidence against him as reasons for keeping Bomber in custody, according to court records.
His prior drug convictions and the discovery of the shotgun in his car led federal attorneys to charge Bomber with unlawful possession of a firearm and add the armed career criminal enhancement on July 10, according to court records. If convicted, Bomber would be required to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.
While it is expected that Bomber will face charges in federal court before facing the pimping charge in Superior Court, those details are still being worked out between federal prosecutors and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, according to officials.
July 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM
Sgt. Darrell L. O’Neill, the deputy embroiled in a prostitution scandal centered around espresso stands, has resigned from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
O’Neill’s actions, which prompted his arrest last month for investigation of conspiracy to promote prostitution and official misconduct, had been under investigation by the sheriff’s Office of Professional Accountability before his resignation. O’Neill, 58, a 30-year department veteran, was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest.
Shari Ireton, director of communications for the sheriff’s office, said the department has suspended its internal investigation into the matter since O’Neill is no longer an employee. The criminal investigation is ongoing.
O’Neill and Carmela A. Panico, 51, owner of Java Juggs and Twin Peaks drive-thru espresso stands, were arrested June 25 as part of a months-long prostitution investigation coordinated by the Everett Police Department.
O’Neill allegedly provided “sensitive information” to Panico, including a description of an undercover patrol vehicle and advice on how not to get caught, said Dan Templeman, deputy chief for the Everett Police Department.
In exchange, O’Neill allegedly received sexual favors.
Police say that some of the baristas at Java Juggs were making big bucks, including one who reportedly earned $100,000 in tips last year. Customers would routinely pay $20 for a cup of coffee and a “show” by scantily clad baristas that ranged from flashing the customer to sex, according to a search warrant.
The search warrant says that surveillance footage captured by hidden cameras placed around the stands showed O’Neill showing up repeatedly at two Java Juggs locations in Everett while on duty and in uniform and chatting up the baristas.
“The surveillance video also shows O’Neill hugging and kissing several of the baristas,” the warrant says, noting that he never bought a cup of coffee.
July 11, 2013 at 4:06 PM
A 27-year-old Tacoma pimp who was convicted in November of seven sex-trafficking charges was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 23 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A jury deliberated for about three hours on Nov. 30 before finding Alexander Walls guilty of conspiracy to transport a juvenile for prostitution; interstate transportation of a child for prostitution; witness tampering; conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; and three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, according to a news release issued by federal prosecutors on Thursday. The charges were in connection to Walls’ pimping activities of a 17-year-old girl and two young women.
Walls and co-defendant Reginald Irvin were arrested in May 2011 during a traffic stop in Lakewood, court records show. Irvin pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of an individual for prostitution and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking in October and was later sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to the news release and court records.
Court records show prosecutors dismissed 10 other charges against Irvin as part of the plea agreement.
Authorities seized four vehicles from Walls and Irvin, who are both required to register as sex offenders after they are released from prison, court records show.
According to federal prosecutors, Walls “controlled as many as four women involved in sex trafficking,” including the then-17-year-old girl who came to Tacoma from Chicago after Walls convinced her to travel by here by bus to work for him as a prostitute.
“While directing the prostitution acts of the women, Walls enforced various ‘rules’ on the women about who they could talk to, how much money they had to make, when they could eat, and where they could work as prostitutes,” the news release says. “He assaulted them if they did not follow his rules, including strip searching them to look for money, and demanded they pay him as much as $1,500 before they could leave his control.”
June 25, 2013 at 3:44 PM
Police have arrested a Snohomish County Sheriff’s sergeant for allegedly helping bikini baristas elude an investigation into whether they were peddling sexual acts in addition to coffee.
Sgt. Darrell O’Neill, a 30-year sheriff’s office veteran, was taken into custody Tuesday morning on suspicion of conspiracy to promote prostitution and official misconduct, officials said.
Everett police made the arrest after a three-month investigation revealed evidence the sergeant was “providing sensitive information” to the owner of more than a half dozen coffee stands in the Puget Sound area, including a description of an undercover patrol vehicle and advice on how not to get caught, said deputy chief Dan Templeman.
It is unclear what, if anything, O’Neill was allegedly getting in return, Templeman said.
Police also arrested the owner of the coffee stands, a 51-year-old woman; her manager, a 22-year-old woman; and at least two female baristas in their early 20s, Templeman said.
“We have detained at least five individuals, and we are attempting to interview them about these allegations,” he said.
The investigation began in March when the Kent Police Department obtained information about the potential criminal activities and notified the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, which turned the investigation over to Everett police.
As part of Everett’s investigation, detectives “observed both in-person and through on-camera surveillance not only lewd conduct but sexual activity at these stands,” Templeman said.
The FBI also assisted with the investigation, he said.
On Tuesday, officers from the Everett, Edmonds and Lynnwood police departments conducted coordinated raids on seven barista stands in Everett, Edmonds, Snohomish and Kent, all belonging to the same owner, Templeman said.
After the arrest, O’Neill was placed on paid administrative leave pending criminal and internal investigations, according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton.
April 19, 2013 at 4:58 PM
Three women and a man were arrested in a years-long prostitution investigation led by King County Sheriff’s Office detectives Thursday night.
The investigation–focused on locations in SeaTac, Kent, and Burien — started in 2008, but picked up momentum last year, said Sgt. Cindi West.
“The leads went cold and then, a few months ago, our detectives got more info about the situation,” West said.
After a sting operation, search warrants allowed detectives to seize three vehicles and a small amount of money in the raid, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The women were booked into King County Jail for investigation of prostitution, money laundering, conspiracy and leading organized crime, while the 33-year-old man, a convicted felon, was booked into jail for possession of a loaded gun.
Both the man and a 37-year-old woman are being held in lieu of $10,000 bail. Court documents say the woman is being investigated for second-degree promotion of prostitution and trafficking.
West said the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will review the suspects’ charges when the investigation is complete, but wasn’t sure how much longer that might take.
Detectives said three businesses and two residences have been involved in prostitution. Two of the businesses are in SeaTac; one is in Burien. One of the residences is in SeaTac and one is in Kent.
March 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM
In the midst of jury selection for his three-week trial in King County Superior Court, John Joseph Hauff Jr. pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon in the rape and torture of a 24-year-old woman he picked up on Aurora Avenue in Seattle and took home to what police called a “bondage room” in northeast Tacoma in April 2011.
Hauff, now 68, was to stand trial on first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault charges, according to court records. Instead, he pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment with sexual motivation, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
Hauff, who is to be sentenced March 29, faces a 10-year prison term, but because he has pleaded guilty to two sex crimes, he also faces the potential of an indeterminate sentence of up to life in prison, Donohoe said.
Hauff picked up the woman who was working as a prostitute in the 8200 block of Aurora Avenue North on April 2, 2011, and offered her $100 to allow him to tie her wrists to his bedposts, according to charging documents. The woman agreed, but she became worried for her safety and texted Hauff’s license plate number to a friend, asking that he contact police if he didn’t hear from the woman by midnight, the charges say.
On the drive to Tacoma, Hauff pulled over in Federal Way, bound the woman’s hands and blindfolded her, saying he didn’t want her to see where he lived, according to the charges. Once arriving at a remote, sprawling property in northeast Tacoma, Hauff led the woman inside his mobile home, where he had constructed a “bondage room,” charges say. As soon as he escorted the woman into the room, he “quickly put a chain around the victim’s neck and padlocked it,” the papers say.
When she asked Hauff if he was going to hurt her, he said, “Yes.” She then asked if he was going to kill her and he stated, “We’ll see,” according to charging papers.
Hauff then tortured the woman for eight hours.
The woman, fearing “she would be killed and buried somewhere in his yard,” told Hauff about the text message she had sent, charging papers say.
After viewing the text on her cellphone, Hauff gave the woman another $100, drove her back to Seattle and asked her not to contact police, the papers say.
The woman reported the incident to Seattle police, who found the bondage room, with 8-inch-thick walls, and “recovered syringes, belts, paddles, sexual devices, locks, ropes, chains, tubing and two devices that appear to be designed to administer electricity to the human body,” charging papers say.
Tacoma police and search-and-rescue teams later searched Hauff’s property with cadaver dogs, but found no evidence of bodies buried there, court records show.
December 20, 2012 at 4:03 PM
An Indiana man went to extreme measures to steal cash and a pair of sunglasses off a would-be pedophile on Monday afternoon, according to Seattle police.
Adam Carl Blazak, 28, was charged today with first-degree extortion in King County Superior Court.
According to the charges, Blazak is accused of hatching an elaborate plot, one that included posing as a federal agent to lure a Seattle University student to a hotel room under the guise that he would hook up with a juvenile prostitute. Once face-to-face with the student, Blazak claimed to be a law enforcement officer, shined a flashlight in the student’s face, ordered him to the floor and handcuffed him, according to the charges.
Blazak told the student that he had a wife and kids and wondered what the man could offer him, according to a police report.
The student, who was not arrested, told Blazak that he only had his sunglasses and $191. But Blazak insisted they go to a nearby Bank of America branch so the student could withdraw funds. Blazak reportedly told the student that if he “tried anything” he “would be done,” police said.
Once at the bank, the student withdrew an additional $193 from his checking account and handed it over to Blazak. The men went back to the hotel and parted ways – the student then called police.
While the student first said that he was robbed while trying to sell video games at the hotel, he later said that he had gone to the hotel to have sex with a teenager. The student said he corresponded over email with someone who he believed was the girl more than 50 times, police said.
Police said that Blazak recently graduated from Indiana University, Kokomo, where he was on the dean’s list, and came to Seattle on vacation.
Dan Donohoe, spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said police are continuing to investigate the case.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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