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Five Sentenced in North Georgia for Involvement in Sex Trafficking Scheme Spanning Over a Year


🔒 The Gist: A federal investigation has culminated in the sentencing of five individuals for running a sex trafficking operation in the Northern District of Georgia, which was initially uncovered due to a missing minor from Miami, Florida.

🤔 Why It Matters: This sentencing brings a measure of justice for vulnerable victims and underscores the pervasive issue of sex trafficking in the Southern United States.

What’s Happening:

  • The criminal operation existed from November 2015 until December 2016.
  • Six minor girls, ages 16 to 17, were coerced into prostitution.

🗣️ In Their Words:

  • U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan stated that the victims from immigrant communities can be especially fearful of reporting such crimes.
  • Assistant Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, Brian Ozden, emphasized that these crimes are among the “most depraved on the books.

🔍 Between the Lines:

  • Brian Hernandez Acosta and co-defendants Nilageo Alvarez Acosta, Jaime Adam Riano, Anthony Joseph Lawhon, and Brandi Rice Stumpe were identified as the perpetrators.
  • The criminals used online platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and to pursue and advertise the girls, listing false ages.

🏃 Catch Up Quick:

  • The missing minor was transported to Georgia by two defendants and coerced into committing commercial sex acts.
  • Law enforcement agencies including Dalton Police, FBI, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations were involved in the investigation.

📜 The Sentencing:

  • Jaime Adam Riano, 34, of East Ridge, Tennessee, received seven years in prison.
  • Nilageo Alvarez-Acosta, 37, of Camaguey, Cuba, received 23 years.
  • Hernandez Acosta, 32, of Havana, Cuba, received 30 years.
  • Brandi Rice Stumpe, 40, of Powder Springs, Georgia, received five years.
  • Anthony Joseph Lawhon, 44, of Atlanta, Georgia, received 10 years.

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