Federal indictments were unsealed on Monday, charging eight Portland-area pimps with violating the Mann Act and the Travel Act by transporting young women from Portland across the country for prostitution, including to Honolulu, Las Vegas, and Anchorage.
The defendants include Mark “Meezilini” Miles, Jr., 36, Steven “Flawless” Huffman, Jr., 40, Jorge “Baby Slim” Ortega, Jr., 32, Jermaine “Chocolate” Hankins, 38, Michael “Mackin Mike” Willis, Jr., 28, DeShawne “The Don” Howard, 23, Samuel “Sammega” Howard, Jr., 32, and Camillio “Killa” Carradine, 33.
Mark “Meezilini” Miles was charged with two counts of violating the Mann Act, and two counts of violating the Travel Act, for transporting a young Portland native, Ivanice “Ivy” Harris, from Oregon to Hawaii in May 2012 and May 2013. Ivy Harris was killed in Hawaii during the May 2013 trip. A U.S. Marine has been charged with murder in connection with Ms. Harris’ death, and is awaiting trial.
“Local traffickers are sending young Portland-area women all over the country to have sex with strangers for money,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “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. The reason traffickers do what they do is because they think they can get away with it; we are here to show them they are wrong.”
"Until now, successful pimps reaped all the rewards with none of the risk, while the girls and young women they manipulated faced a life of violence and abuse," said Kevin Rickett, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. "Operations such as this one show the FBI can make a difference, but sex trafficking is much more than just a law enforcement problem. This is an issue that our shared community must both acknowledge and address."
The other defendants are charged with Mann Act violations for transporting young women to the states of Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, and Minnesota, for prostitution. The defendants are also charged with Travel Act violations, for their own travel to other states to facilitate their prostitution enterprise. A Mann Act violation carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a$250,000 fine. A Travel Act violation carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Two individuals have not yet been arrested, and those indictments remain sealed. Those two individuals are also charged with sex trafficking a minor, as well as transporting the minor for prostitution.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The indictments stem from “Operation Traffic Stop,” an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacie Fatka Beckerman.