9 people charged in human trafficking sting on Kentucky Derby weekend, including a local doctor
Police say all nine men contacted an undercover officer online, who was posing as a minor.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Derby week is one of the worst times of the year for human trafficking.
LMPD reminded people last week they would be out watching for human trafficking, and over the weekend, nine men were cited or charged. Officers placed fake ads for sex, and it didn't take long for the phones to start ringing.
Sgt. Tim Stokes with LMPD's Special Victims-Sex Crimes Unit said investigators arrested seven men and cited two others.
"Three-hundred-ninety emails, texts or phone calls were received to those two ads," Stokes said. "Of those, we had some communication with 265 individuals."
Police say the men contacted an undercover officer online, who was posing as a minor. According to the arrest reports, the subjects arranged to meet at a hotel near Hurstbourne Parkway and Bluegrass Parkway and engage in sex acts on Friday, Saturday and into Sunday.
Police arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Hilerio-Alfaro, 22-year-old Robin Perdomo-Reyes, 34-year-old Dr. Thomas Falls, 38-year-old Rodney Ellithorpe, 42-year-old Garrett Stanbery, 19-year-old Singh Bir Tamang and 39-year-old Jason Stinson. Additionally, police say 19-year-old Aita Tamang and 32-year-old Alhagi Boye were cited.
Police say Falls, who works with KentuckyOne Health, agreed to pay $200 for sex with a 17-year-old girl.
"He then showed up at the location, and we took him into custody without further incident," Stokes said. "He seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing, which is not uncommon."
KentuckyOne Health released this statement Monday saying it "has suspended the employment of Thomas Falls, pending the outcome of this investigation. While the charges against Falls are unrelated to our organization, we will cooperate with authorities to ensure the ongoing safety of all patients and the public."
Ellithorpe was in court Monday morning for his arraignment.
"The subject came in contact with the undercover officer as the result of an ad posted on LiveEscortReviews.com," Jefferson District Judge Sean Delahanty read as Ellithorpe appeared in court. "He agreed to pay $30 for sex with a 16-year-old girl.
"I'm going to put him on home incarceration and give him work release, and I have a belief home incarceration will keep track of him."
Police say while placing the two ads, 15 people didn't want to meet after they found out the girls were minors.
"Maybe that's a bit of a win," Stokes said. "Somebody is getting a message that underage girls are off limits."
Some of the suspects remain behind bars while others were released or bonded out of jail. They are all scheduled to be back in court later this month.
Police say they'll be out again and will do more human trafficking stings.
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