Months after an undercover sex trafficking sting in Malheur County netted 15 arrests, most of the men accused of soliciting sex have been sentenced to short probation terms, while those accused of prostitution largely have warrants out for their arrest.
Seven of the 11 men arrested on misdemeanor charges of commercial sexual solicitation in December were from Idaho. Most of the 11 were sentenced to 12 to 18 months of probation, with some getting a chance to remove the conviction entirely if they complete that.
Twenty-six-year-old Suman Nag, of Boise, was the only individual to have his charges dismissed.
Benjamin Lagrone, 42, of Caldwell, was also charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 18 months probation on that charge in conjunction with a treatment program. Victor Strica, 31, of Philadelphia, Penn. failed to appear at his court date and has a warrant out for his arrest.
During the operation, police also arrested three women accused of prostitution, also a misdemeanor. The case against Misty Dawn Redding, 36, of Ontario, has proceeded to trial. If found guilty, Redding faces a possible fine or up to a year in jail, though Malheur County district attorney David Goldthorpe said probation is likely.
Ravonne Williams, 22, and Evelyn Young, 25, both have warrants out for failure to appear at early February court dates. Both women are from Nevada. Additionally, Antonio Walker, 34, of Las Vegas, Nev., who was charged with felony compelling prostitution, failed to appear. A warrant has been issued for his arrest, as well.
Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe at the time of the arrests called sex trafficking “a serious problem in almost all of our neighborhoods,” though he did not say why police believed sex trafficking was a factor in the cases. He later said the three women arrested for prostitution did not indicate that they were being forced into sex work, and he said police can still charge individuals they believe are being trafficked.