LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE 3)– Several people are in custody after a LMPD string surrounding the Kentucky Derby.
Police say four men were arrested on human trafficking charges. Those suspects are as follows: Mohith Akula, 27, of Santa Clara, California; Jackson Jones, 54, of Radcliff, Kentucky; Ronnie R. Johnson, 34, of Clarksville, Indiana; and Deontae Montez James, 27, of Shelbyville.
Each had responded to an online ad and arranged to have sex with who they thought was a 15-year-old girl, in exchange for money or drugs.
But instead, the suspects were met by an undercover detective.
Investigators say the amount of awareness before the Derby likely helped curb traffickers
“We had a lot of news coverage in the days leading up to,” said LMPD Sgt. Tim Stokes. “There’s a lot of national coverage about this kind of phenomenon. And based on that, I think that’s a good thing we only had four of the 17 actually make contact with us.”
Undercover officers also pretended to be customers, calling women who were advertising their services.
When those women arrived, they were not arrested. Instead, they were offered help and services.