2 Hub City residents charged with child sex trafficking - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

breaking

2 Hub City residents charged with child sex trafficking

Briana Sparkman. Source: Stone County Jail Briana Sparkman. Source: Stone County Jail
Raymorris Asencio. Source: FCJ Raymorris Asencio. Source: FCJ
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A pair of Hub City residents are behind bars and facing multi-count federal indictments for sex trafficking and coercion of a minor.

Raymorris Asencio, 31, and Briana Sparkman, 18, are both in federal custody and charged with sex trafficking of children by force and coercion or enticement of a minor, for alleged crimes that occurred in February 2017.

Sparkman made an appearance in federal court Thursday, May 4, for her detention hearing before Magistrate Judge Michael Parker, at the United States District Court, William M. Colmer Federal Building in Hattiesburg.

During the hearing, Christopher Berthay, an agent with the FBI Task Force testified about details in the case.

He stated authorities became aware of the case when a lady at a nail salon in Oxford called police about three people, a white female, a black female and an older black male, in early February.

“She believed the older male was a pimp in some way,” said Berthay. “She said he used aggressive language to the girls and talked about making money in Oxford.”

Berthay said the lady was curious, and looked up missing children on her phone from Mississippi.

“She ended up discovering that the white female, was a missing child from Waveland, Mississippi,” said Berthay.

Within 48 hours of that phone call, the trio was located at a hotel in Baton Rouge, where they were questioned and released by local authorities.

The white female, was later identified at a 16-year-old runaway that had been in and out of foster care that was first picked up by Asencio walking along the highway according to Berthay.

“He said he knew a way for them to make money and he would give her a place to stay,” said Berthay.

Berthay said the victim was taken to hotels in Oxford and Grenada, and backpage ads were setup advertising sex for money.

“Hundreds of pages were advertising sex for money,” said Berthay.

Those pages were linked to Sparkman, according to testimony.

Berthay testified that Asencio would provide the transportation to the hotels across the state, and he would leave Sparkman and the victim at the hotels.

“Sparkman would arrange the price and dates…, she taught the victim how to act and how to take the money,” said Berthay. “She (Sparkman) would wait in the bathroom while the sexual acts occurred.”

Berthay added that they were caught in Baton Rouge before they could get their “operation” set up, but that other backpage ads were found linked to Tupelo, Biloxi, Marietta Georgia and Alabama.

Briana Elaine Sparkman:

Sparkman, was arrested Tuesday, May 2, at her home in Hattiesburg by federal authorities.

She is facing two federal charges of sex trafficking of children by force and coercion or enticement of a minor.

Sparkman made her initial appearance on Wednesday, May 3, before Magistrate Judge Michael Parker, and her detention hearing Thursday.

According to her indictment, “From or about February 11, 2017 to on or about February 15, 2017, in the Northern District of Mississippi and elsewhere, defendant Briana Sparkman, in and affecting interstate commerce, did knowingly and intentionally recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, advertise, and maintain Victim 1 (redacted), a minor older than 14 years of age, but younger than 18 years of age, to engage in commercial sex acts, and knowingly and in reckless disregard of the facts that means of force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion would be used to cause (victim) to engage in commercial sex acts, did cause (victim) to engage in commercial sex acts, and benefitted financially from participation in the venture of the commercial sex acts engaged in by (victim).”

Count two of the indictment is detailed as, “From or about February 11, 2017 to on or about February 15, 2017, in the Northern District of Mississippi and elsewhere, defendant Briana Sparkman, did knowingly and intentionally transport Victim 1 (redacted), an individual who had not attained the age of 18 years of age in interstate commerce, from Mississippi to Louisiana, with intent that the (victim) engage in prostitution and sexual activity for which a person can be charged with a criminal offense.”

Raymorris Asencio:

Asencio was arrested Feb. 15 at an undisclosed location in Hattiesburg by federal authorities.

He is facing federal charges of sex trafficking of children by force and coercion or enticement of a minor.

According to his indictment, “From or about February 11, 2017 to on or about February 15, 2017, in the Northern District of Mississippi and elsewhere, defendant Raymorris Asencio, in and affecting interstate commerce, did knowingly and intentionally recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, advertise, and maintain Victim 1 (redacted), a minor older than 14 years of age, but younger than 18 years of age, to engage in commercial sex acts, and knowingly and in reckless disregard of the facts that means of force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion would be used to cause (victim) to engage in commercial sex acts, did cause (victim) to engage in commercial sex acts, and benefitted financially from participation in the venture of the commercial sex acts engaged in by (victim).”

Count two of the indictment is detailed as, “From or about February 11, 2017 to on or about February 15, 2017, in the Northern District of Mississippi and elsewhere, defendant Raymorris Asencio, did knowingly and intentionally transport Victim 1 (redacted), an individual who had not attained the age of 18 years of age in interstate commerce, from Mississippi to Louisiana, with intent that the (victim) engage in prostitution and sexual activity for which a person can be charged with a criminal offense.”

Asencio made his initial appearance on March 29 and his arraignment and detention hearing was held on April 3 in Oxford before Magistrate Judge Roy Percy. He remains in federal custody and his trial is set for May 22 in the Northern District of Mississippi.

Sparkman will be released on Friday, May 5, on a $25,000 unsecured bond, and be put in the custody of her mother to stay at their residence on Airport Road. Her next scheduled court date will be in oxford on May 11.

Both cases will be sent to the Northern District of Mississippi because that is where the alleged crimes occurred, however they made their initial appearances in Hattiesburg, because that is where they were arrested.

Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly