Medford PD, MADGE arrest 20 in sex trafficking sting
Medford, Ore. - In May, Medford Police Department and Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement arrested 20 people in connection with sex trafficking - 11 men looking to pay for sex ("Johns"), 7 women offering sex for money and 2 men as sex traffickers.
Due to the volume of Johns arrested, all 11 of them were cited and released to return to court at a later date.
"It was an operation that was evolving by the minute," Lt. Mike Budreau of MADGE said. "We were having individuals come by every minute, and sometimes there was a lull, but we didn't have the luxury of taking every one of those to jail, it would take too much resources."
In a report released by MADGE, Budreau declined to name the hotels and websites used to conduct the sting on in order to continue using them as the investigation continues. Budreau did say each of the hotels cooperated fully in their investigation.
The two sex traffickers, Anterion Suggs and Lafayette Toney, were both charged with promoting prostitution. Suggs was also charged with possession of MDMA. Toney was charged with resisting arrest and tampering with evidence.
The remaining 18 people arrested were charged with misdemeanors.
Budreau noted the seven women arrested would be kept anonymous in order to protect their identities as victims in prostitution.
"This is much more organized, much more violent and a lot of these women are beaten, coerced, manipulated and they're really pawns in a really horrible game," Budreau said.
MPD and MADGE worked with lawyers to make sure the arrests made - and the process law enforcement went through to make the arrests - would not be considered entrapment. Budreau said their process made sure to not offer any crimes the men did not expect to commit.
The law enforcement agencies also worked with Redemption Ridge to learn the proper approach to talking to victims of prostitution as well as spoke with Portland Police Bureau on how to approach making all the arrests.
Budreau says MADGE was surprised at the number of arrests made, saying he believes PPB will typically arrest between 10 and 15 people at a time, but rarely 20. Budreau hopes the sting sends a message to sex traffickers that they will be discovered and arrested in Medford if they bring their crimes here.
Find a list of names of the Johns arrested below.
-Derek Sternal Lahr, 34 years old out of Grants Pass
-Ryan Henry Prevedel, 39, Eagle Point
-Christopher Edward Smith, 48, Ashland
-Robert Samuel Lavell, 28, Medford
-Iqbal "Jay" Singh Rahal, 37, Medford
-Daniel Dougherty, 35, Jacksonville
-Jashua Kevin Tastaca, 24, Wilderville
-June Ceasar Emata Balagtas, 21, Central Point
-Sergio Garcia-Riquiz, 37, Medford
-William Jon Courtney, 52, Medford
-Kenneth Douglas Boardman, 29, Medford