Sex trafficking sting picks up seven from Decatur

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt June 24, 2014
A chart of the FBI's Cross Country VIII investigation operations. Source: FBI

A chart of the FBI’s Cross Country VIII investigation operations. Source: FBI

The FBI has announced the results of its most recent sex trafficking investigation – dubbed Cross Country VIII – and agents arrested seven Decatur residents, according to news reports.

There were 71 Georgians arrested as a result of the investigation.

According to a press release from the FBI, federal officials picked up the following individuals on charges related to Cross Country VIII:

Alexis Seals, age 26, of Decatur, GA – Prostitution

Jonathan Lyons, age 24, of Decatur – Pimping

Keira Hudson, age 23, of Decatur, GA – Prostitution

Natasha Hardy, age 22, of Decatur, GA – Contributing to Deprivation of a Minor

Nicole Bozeman, age 26, of Decatur, GA – Solicitation

Saneitra Jackson, age 18, of Decatur, GA – Prostitution

T’ore Tigner, age 19, of Decatur, GA – Prostitution

FBI reported that agents arrested 281 pimps around the country and have rescued 168 children as a result of the latest investigation.

“Targeting and harming America’s children through commercial sex trafficking is a heinous crime, with serious consequences,” FBI Director James B. Comey said via press release. “Every child deserves to be safe and sound. Through targeted measures like Operation Cross Country, we can end the cycle of victimization.”

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  • wwwoolf

    How do you know these persons live in the City of Decatur? Well over 95% of persons served by the Decatur Post Office do not live in the city proper, so it is reasonable to assume that headlines like this are misleading at best, if not totally inaccurate.

    • The FBI lists their home address as Decatur, according to the article I linked.

      • wwwoolf

        That means their home address is served by the Decatur Post Office, which covers a territory that goes almost to Conyers. I know the AJC is incapable of distinguishing between Decatur and unincorporated DeKalb, but I hope for better when local reporters are involved. You are a good reporter, Dan, but I still maintain that the story is likely to be misleading.

        • Thank you for the compliment. I feel it would be wrong of me to depart from an official source on the possibly erroneous assumption that they do not actually live in the city limits. The story I linked did not provide complete addresses, only the name of the city. I’ve asked the FBI if they have a list of addresses of these individuals. I’ll update the story if they provide this information.

          • wwwoolf

            Fair enough. I mistakenly assumed that Zip Codes were part of the addresses, making it easy to distinguish Decatur (30030 only) from unincorporated DeKalb. It’s easier to figure it out when the crime is local, because Decatur has its own police force. Then again, I guess if you report that “DeKalb County residents” are arrested, it’s correct regardless.

  • fsg

    Seven of the 71 persons arrested are from Decatur? It is astonishing that so many alleged criminals are living in the four square miles of Decatur. Surely some scepticism is due on the part of the media.

    Perhaps the Decatur police would know.

    • I contacted the Decatur Police. They hadn’t heard of these individuals, but that doesn’t mean with 100 percent certainty that they lived outside the city lines. I’m not trying to be rude, but figuring out whether these individuals lived in the city limits wouldn’t be as simple as just saying they do or don’t. In my line of work, it’s never safe to make assumptions.

      • Sine qua non

        With all due respect, why is everyone so anxious to prove that none of of the people arrested live within the sacred Decatur City Limits?

        People! Get over yourselves. Calm down. Your pricey Decatur CITY house will still be worth a lot of money even IF all seven of the individuals live in the actual CITY! If you have to sell, potential buyers understand that every city has SOME crooks. Heck, what about that woman who was convicted of murdering her diet doctor husband in Scarsdale, NY, which is REALLY uber-snooty (ahem, even snootier than Decatur CITY, I regret to inform you.)

        And cut Dan a break. He’s one guy, trying to cover everything in a fairly large area, investigate complex issues AND do it while keeping readers happy and engaged. I’ve been a journalist, and I can tell you it’s damned hard work. And IMHO, it’s not his job (or shouldn’t be) to be match up the last know mailing addresses of arrested individuals with an map of Decatur to make sure that no crooks or tacky folks are living next to you. Or, if he wants to do that, give him a couple of days. Good grief.

        Finally, Dan, I am neither complaining about or defending you. Just calling it like I see it.

        Everyone take a deep breath now. It will all be okay even if there are hookers and pimps among us.

  • fsg

    For me it isn’t about property values or how hard it is to check facts that might seem to be of minor importance. It’s about the fact that if seven of the persons arrested are from Decatur, then there’s a very high probability that most of them live within walking distance of where I live, since Decatur is really small.

    While some might think it’s “snooty” for residents to care about their neighbourhood, I believe that it is a civic duty. What if the story had said they lived on Emory campus when they really lived in down town Decatur? Would Emory care? I know people who live in the less affluent Pine Lake would strongly care if we said that something had occurred in their city when it did not.

    Finally, I really appreciate Dan Whisenhunt’s reporting. If I didn’t respect it I wouldn’t be reading it. My criticism was intended to be constructive. Keep up the good work!

  • I’m less concerned with locating these folks on a property-values map than I am about some of the ages, charges, and how they align with the purported goals of this raid. Solicitation and prostitution ought to be the purview of the local cops, and does not rise to the standard of “arresting ‘pimps'” and “rescuing children.”

    “Contributing to Deprivation of a Minor” (and at the young age of 22, no less) and “pimping,” good collars. The rest? I’m dubious as to their contribution to to a nationwide ring of sex trafficking. “Only a pawn in their game…” comes to mind. I’m hoping their arrest serves as some sort of protective cover for them as they provide evidence…

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