Nevada’s New Top Federal Prosecutor Prioritizes Sex Trafficking Enforcement

Combating sex trafficking is on the front burner for Nevada’s new US Attorney Jason Frierson. He listed it as the priority for local federal law enforcement officials, as troubling incidents continue to be seen on or near the Las Vegas Strip.

Nevada’s new US Attorney Jason Frierson
Nevada’s new US Attorney Jason Frierson
Nevada’s new US Attorney Jason Frierson, pictured above. He has made enforcement of sex trafficking laws a priority. (Image: Nevada Independent)

That could lead to more arrests for trafficking and related federal counts, Frierson suggested when meeting with local media on Wednesday.

I think there will be opportunities for us to make it clear that Nevada is not a safe haven for sex traffickers,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal quoted Frierson.

In recent months, local officials also have targeted sex trafficking, especially if it involves minors.

This week, it was reported that an illegal brothel operating near the Las Vegas Strip was discovered by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Close to 200 men were seen entering the operation over a two-week period in July.

Two suspects, Heng Van Ho and Yuxiang Tian, were nabbed earlier this month for allegedly operating the brothel.

Also, on Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Commission is scheduled to decide whether to place the name of Kendrick Laronte Weatherspoon in its Black Book. If included, he would be banned from the state’s casinos.

Weatherspoon was a defendant in 30 cases in Las Vegas Justice Court between 2000 and 2021. Among the charges against him were domestic battery, sex trafficking of an adult, battery by strangulation, sexual assault, kidnapping, and accepting the proceeds of prostitution.

Weatherspoon was removed from at least five Las Vegas casinos for his illicit activities, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

In addition, in January, another suspect, Toni Magnum, was charged with sex trafficking a child under 16, first-degree kidnapping of a minor, living from the earnings of a prostitute, and child abuse or neglect, the Review-Journal reported.

Between October and December 2021, a girl allegedly working for Magnum did 50 or more acts of prostitution on Las Vegas Boulevard or along Tropicana Avenue, police revealed earlier this year.

Prior similar charges against Magnum were dismissed, the Review-Journal said.

Be Aware of Trafficking at Casinos

In February, an advocate against human trafficking called for casinos to implement training to help staff recognize potential victims.

Annie Sovcik, director of “Busing on the Lookout,” a program of “Truckers Against Trafficking,” said in a Las Vegas appearance, that casinos are prime destinations for sex traffickers. Casino officials have a special role to play in preventing trafficking.

“Leaders in the gaming industry throughout the United States are in a position to make a critical impact,” Sovcik said.

Among the signs of trafficking are those who have physical injuries. They also may not know where they are or what day or date it is, Sovick said.

She also warned to look out for those who appear to be under control of someone else.

US Attorney

Frierson is the first African American appointed to be Nevada’s US Attorney. He was sworn in in May.

Formerly, he was speaker of the Nevada State Assembly, an assistant public defender in Clark County, and chief deputy district attorney in Clark County.

The post Nevada’s New Top Federal Prosecutor Prioritizes Sex Trafficking Enforcement appeared first on Casino.org.

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