Four arrested in Panhandle Region Human Trafficking Task Force sting
Four men are behind bars in Scotts Bluff County following a task force sting over the weekend in which the men allegedly solicited adult and minor females for sex.
According to a release from Scottsbluff Police Chief Kevin Spencer, the Panhandle Regional team of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force conducted a pro-active initiative Saturday night, December 30, focusing on investigating subjects interested in purchasing sex from adult and minor females.
The four arrested:
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.
According to Spencer, 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 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. 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.
Spencer considers this investigation a pronounced success giving credit to the hard work of all involved, and the task force is hoping the arrests will cause others to think twice before buying sex from a minor.. He says the Regional Team will continue efforts to thoroughly investigate, arrest and seek prosecution of anyone involved in Human Trafficking.