Eight men charged with trafficking women across U.S.

Young women transported to Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, Nevada and Minnesota for prostitution

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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Eight men were charged in Oregon’s federal court Monday for allegedly transporting women from the Portland area to other states for prostitution.

“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,” U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said in a news release. “The reason traffickers do what they do, because they think they can get away with it; we are here to show them they are wrong.”

Operation Traffic Stop led to the arrests of Mark Miles Jr., 36; Steven Huffman Jr., 40; Jorge Ortega Jr., 32; Jermaine Hankins, 38; Michael Willis Jr., 28; DeShawne Howard, 23; Samuel Howard Jr., 32; and Camillio Carradine, 33.

They face charges related to transporting people for prostitution in Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho and Minnesota, and for traveling to those states to traffic victims. Those crimes fall under the federal Mann and Travel acts. Violating the Mann Act carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, while Travel Act violations carry a maximum sentence of five years. Violating either act could result in a $250,000 fine.

Miles was charged with two counts of violating the Mann and Travel acts for transporting Portland resident Ivy Harris to Hawaii in May 2012 and May 2013. She was killed in Hawaii on the 2013 trip.