On December 30th during the evening hours the Panhandle Regional Team of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force conducted a pro active law enforcement initiative focused on investigating subjects interested in purchasing sex from adult and minor females. As a result of the investigation 4 individuals were arrested and taken to the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center where they were booked and confined.
The four arrested:
From Left to Right (Marty Houser, Benjamin Rein, Alfredo Castro, Brent Tinnell)
Marty Houser – 04/24/1953 of Scottsbluff, NE 1 count “Solicitation of Prostitution” class IV felony, 1 count “Solicitation of Prostitution” Class 1 misdemeanor and 1 count of “Sex Trafficking” class 1b felony.
Benjamin Rein – 5/10/1997 of Torrington, WY 1 count “Solicitation of Prostitution” class 1d felony, 1 count “Solicitation of Prostitution” class 1 misdemeanor, and 1 count of “Sex Trafficking” class 1b felony.
Alfredo (Albert) Castro – 04/02/1974 of Wheat Ridge, CO 1 count “Solicitation of Prostitution” class 1 misdemeanor.
Brent Tinnell 07/28/1992 of Minatare, NE 1 count “Solicitation of Prostitution” class 1 misdemeanor and “Possession of a Controlled Substance” class IV felony.
The sex trafficking arrests were made under the criminal law recently amended by last year’s LB 289. Under the new wording, those who solicit minors for sex can be prosecuted as “traffickers”, the penalty for which is 20 years to life imprisonment. The task force hopes these arrests will cause others to think twice before buying sex from a minor.
The investigation was a collaborative effort of nine different agencies including the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, the Scotts Bluff County Attorney’s Office, the Salvation Army, the Nebraska State Patrol, the Scottsbluff Police Department, the Gering Police Department, the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, the Sidney Police Department and the Alliance Police Department. Chief Spencer said that he is always impressed and proud of the professionalism of area and state law enforcement officials who are willing to come together to make a difference.
Chief Kevin Spencer considers this investigation a pronounced success giving credit to the hard work of all involved. The Regional Team will continue efforts to thoroughly investigate, arrest and seek prosecution of anyone involved in Human Trafficking.