Photo Gallery | Local sex trafficking operation results in arrests
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Officials have arrested three Gorham residents on sex trafficking charges, said Cumberland County Deputy District Attorney Tuesday.
With the help of Preble Street Teen Center, police became aware late last week of a 19-year-old girl that Klein Fernandes, Tamika Dias and Jeremy Seeley exploited and required to engage in commercial sex acts. Dias posted the victim on Backpage.com and Fernandes and Seeley took the victim to multiple locations in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts with strangers. The victim fled from the three defendants when they told her that they might sell her to a Boston "pimp."
Police served a search warrant at 19 Woodland Road in Gorham, the home the three defendants shared, on Friday, March 14. Officials interviewed all three defendants at that time and they admitted to participating in a scheme to receive money from the earnings of the commercial sexual exploitation of the 19-year-old girl.
Cumberland County charged Dias and Fernandes with two counts of Aggravated Sex Trafficking, a Class B crime. Cumberland County charged Seeley with two counts of Sex Trafficking, a Class D crime.
Manager of the Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Coalition Daniella Cameron said, "As we see increasing numbers of people being trafficked, we are working closely with law enforcement and other service providers to keep these young women and other victims safe."
Their first court appearance is schedule in Portland on Wednesday, March 19 at 1:00. The investigation is still ongoing.
The investigation included officials from Gorham Police Department, the South Portland Police Department and the FBI, with assistance from the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office and the Maine Attorney General's Office.