HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — The FBI announced Tuesday a dozen pimps have been arrested in Hampton Roads as part of a nationwide human trafficking operation involving minors.
Officials say the 12 suspects were arrested over several days as a result of a coordinated effort with the Chesapeake, Hampton, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach Police Departments.
Officers also rescued three underage victims in Hampton Roads, between the ages of 16 and 17.
Agents and investigators say they conducted both “in-call” and “outcall” operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops and in other areas known to be frequented by both prostitutes and their customers.
10 On Your Side has confirmed Monday’s raid at the EconoLodge on Northampton Boulevard in Virginia Beach was part of the nationwide operation.
Detectives from the Special Investigations Unit along with Virginia Beach SWAT were at the hotel Monday morning. By the end of the day police had arrested a total of five people in the sting.
- Cordario Uzzle, 22, charged with maintain or frequent bawdy place, sex trafficking, prostitution aiding/assisting in procurement, prostitution-enticement, procurement employed by enterprise and participate in racketeering.
- Darryl Threat, 21, charged with employed by enterprise, participate in racketeering, pander, pimp, or receive money from prostitute, probation violation- felony, sex trafficking by force, prostitution aiding/assisting in procurement and prostitution- recieving money, ect for procurement.
- Shade Castro, 22, prostitution aiding/assisting in procurement, pander, pimp, or receive money from prostitute employed by enterprise, participate in racketeering sex trafficking.
- Keith Threat, 21, charged with sex trafficking, employed by enterprise, participate in racketeering and maintain or frequent bawdy place.
- Tajaika Blackston, 21, prostitution aiding/assisting in procurement pander, pimp, or receive money from prostitute employed by enterprise, participate in racketeering sex trafficking
All five suspects were in court Tuesday morning for arraignments. They are all being held inside the Virginia Beach jail without bond and will be back in court Wednesday morning for bond hearings.
Nationwide, about 149 underage trafficking victims were rescued and 153 suspected pimps were arrested. The initiative, dubbed Operation Cross Country IX, is a national program spearheaded by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, along with state and local law enforcement partners across the country.