PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal grand jury has indicted eight Portland men accused of transporting women across state lines to engage in prostitution.
One of the men is Mark "Meezilini" Miles, who is accused of taking Ivy Harris to Hawaii last spring.
The 29-year-old Harris was killed during the visit and a Marine is awaiting trial on a murder charge.
The indictments unsealed Monday stem from an FBI-led enforcement called "Operation Traffic Stop." Besides Hawaii, prosecutors say the prostitutes were taken to Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota and Nevada.
"Local traffickers are sending young Portland-area women all over the country to have sex with strangers for money," said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. "These young women, far from home, are being placed in grave danger, so that their pimp can buy himself a Mercedes, or a Cadillac, or an expensive pair of jeans. The reason traffickers do what they do is because they think they can get away with it; we are here to show them they are wrong."
Also charged were: Steven "Flawless" Huffman, Jorge "Baby Slim" Ortega, Jermaine "Chocolate" Hankins, Michael "Mackin Mike" Willis, DeShawne "The Don" Howard, Samuel "Sammega" Howard and Camillio "Killa" Carradine.
Two other suspects who were also indicted have not yet been arrested, and those indictments remain sealed.
If found guilty, they face sentences of five to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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