Governor, GBI announce arrests in gang bust related to child sex trafficking

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) arrested 8 people in Albany, GA on charges of child sex trafficking and violation of the gang statute in connection to a year-long investigation.

On October 23, 2019, the Albany Police Department requested the investigative assistance of the GBI CEACC Unit regarding the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), also known as child sex trafficking. 

On August 2, 2019, the Albany Police Department received a report regarding the rape and commercial sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old juvenile female. The female victim reported being trafficked during an almost two-month period from June 2019 through August 2019 in Albany, Georgia. The trafficking of the victim ended when the juvenile victim was able to run away from her traffickers. During this investigation, it was discovered that the juvenile victim was posted numerous times on one specific website (Skip the Games) as an adult female. The juvenile victim was advertised for sexual interaction in exchange for money. The juvenile victim was advertised by multiple members of the Inglewood Family Gang (IFG) Bloods. 

Inglewood Family Gang (IFG) and The Family, is a subset of the larger criminal street gang known as the Bloods. Both the Bloods and IFGB are national criminal street gangs and can be found throughout the United States. Specifically, both are located within Georgia and commit crimes within Georgia.

Members of this gang made the arrangements for the juvenile to have sexual encounters with numerous men over the almost two-month period in exchange for money. These arrangements are also known as “plays.” The child sex trafficking occurred in multiple locations within Albany, Georgia, to include hotels and motels, vehicles and residences. Additional members of this street gang participated in the trafficking by providing locations for the “plays,” transportation to the “plays,” and by being onsite facilitators while the victim was trafficked for sexual purposes. This investigation revealed that the proceeds from the child sex trafficking were being used to finance the gang and the illegal activities of that gang.

“The damages of Human Trafficking are difficult to repair and these young victims need plenty of assistance in getting their lives back while regaining their self-esteem,” said Albany Police Chief Michael Persley. “I will continue to pledge my support in fighting Human Trafficking while using all resources available to bring to justice those who prey on other human beings for the sole purpose of financial gain. I am thankful for Director Reynolds and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for their efforts in combatting this detestable and devaluing crime.”

The following individuals have been charged for their various roles in the sex trafficking of a child victim and gang activity:

  • Korina Johnson, age 18
  • Robert Wingfield, age 19
  • Jeston Yates, age 29
  • Ronaldo Patterson, 29
  • Johnny Shanard Howard, age 33
  • Tre’Shawn Malik Smith, 20
  • Byrant Terrell Hooker, age 32
  • Jamie Rosier, age 30