DeKalb County, Stone Mountain, GA Sex Trafficking

Brian Hernandez Acosta and his brother, Nilageo Alvarez Acosta, have been arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking of a minor, and transportation of a minor for prostitution. A third man, Jaime Adam Riano, was arraigned on the same charges on April 13.

“These men allegedly preyed on vulnerable young girls by sexually exploiting them for quick money,” said U.S. Attorney John A. Horn. “This case highlights the danger that lurks on social media sites, where the defendants allegedly pursued some of the child victims.”

“These federal charges are a reminder that sex trafficking of minors continues to be a very real problem and that it is not confined to urban areas. This case further illustrates how law enforcement, working together across many jurisdictions and state lines, remains responsive in addressing this heinous crime problem that will forever scar those being exploited,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.

“We are thankful for the work and success of all involved in this investigation that has ended the elaborate criminal enterprise these predators operated. The scope of their operation is a reminder that sex trafficking is a real danger for the young people in our communities,” said Chief Jason Parker, Dalton Police Department.

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Hernandez Acosta, Alvarez Acosta, and Riano allegedly conspired to traffic minor girls for commercial sex throughout North Georgia as well as in Florida and Tennessee. Beginning in or around November 2015, and continuing until December 2016, the defendants caused at least five girls between 16 and 17 years old to engage in prostitution, including by using force, fraud, and coercion.

Hernandez Acosta, after pursuing some of the girls on Facebook, allegedly posted provocative photographs of them in the adult entertainment and escort sections of www.backpage.com, a classified advertisement website, to solicit men to have sex with the minors for money. The advertisements used fake names for the minors and falsely listed the minors as between ages 19 and 21 years, when in fact, they were all underage. Hernandez Acosta and Alvarez Acosta forced one 16-year-old girl to have sex with the men after driving her from Florida to Georgia to engage in prostitution, and after falsely offering the girl a place to live.

Riano often drove this 16-year-old victim to the locations where she engaged in commercial sex acts. Another 16-year-old high school student was driven to a residence in the Atlanta area to have sex with a man for $150, which was paid directly to Hernandez Acosta. The defendants operated a high-volume, low-cost business, requiring the young girls to have sex with multiple men each night and kept nearly all of the money they earned.

Hernandez Acosta, 26, of Dalton, Georgia, Alvarez Acosta, 31, of Tampa, Florida, and Riano, 29, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, were indicted April 11, 2017.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Dalton Police Department. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Murray County Sheriff’s Office have also provided assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Suzette A. Smikle and Dash A. Cooper are prosecuting the case.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Roderick L. Wyatt, 61, of Stone Mountain, has been charged with accepting bribe payments in exchange for approving the enrollment of almost 20 students to a local college, through a federal workforce program in DeKalb County. The federal indictment alleges that Wyatt agreed to accept payments from the college president for each student sent to the college through WorkSource DeKalb, a federally funded program.

“Wyatt allegedly sold his supervisory position with WorkSource DeKalb for cash. In doing so, he allegedly accepted a “bounty” for each student sent to a specific college,” said U. S. Attorney John A. Horn.

“An important mission of the Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud relating to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations,” said Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent in Charge, Atlanta Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

Public corruption is the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority because it takes a significant toll on the public’s pocketbooks by siphoning off tax dollars,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. LeValley. “This case is another example of our commitment to combat corruption by investigating public officials who choose to abuse federally funded programs.”

According to United States Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is a federal public law designed to improve and modernize America’s workforce development system by providing dislocated and low-income individuals with the skills and education needed to obtain employment and by providing employers with trained and qualified workers to fill employment vacancies.

WorkSource DeKalb (formerly DeKalb Workforce Development) was a DeKalb County department funded exclusively by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. WorkSource DeKalb (“WSD”) served the unemployed and underemployed citizens of DeKalb County by providing work readiness programs, services, and activities necessary to obtain sustainable wages. Using federal funds, WSD paid the cost for unemployed and underemployed individuals to attend pre-screened schools or programs where the individuals gained the technical or vocational skills needed to obtain employment in fields such as nursing, truck driving, or welding. After reviewing the unemployed individuals’ career aspirations and educational interests, WSD staff members recommended the individuals to particular pre-screened schools or programs.

From 2013 to April 2017, Wyatt served as a WSD Employment and Training Supervisor. As a supervisor, Wyatt reviewed and approved the school/program recommendations made by WSD staff members.

In 2014, the president and founder of a pre-screened school that offered its students nursing assistant and medical technician certifications approached Wyatt and offered to pay him for each individual that WSD referred to the College. In 2014 and 2015, Wyatt approved the enrollment of approximately 19 students to the College. The College’s president paid Wyatt $100 for each student approved to attend his school. In total, the College received approximately $82,000 in federal funds under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The name of the college has not been identified in the Information or any of the court pleadings.

This case is being investigated by the Department of Labor – Office of the Inspector General and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis and Special Assistant United States Attorney Tyler Man prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.

 

 

 

 

Lithonia state rep aims to create commission to decide placement and value of historic monuments

Confederate monuments not limited to the Old South

A statue depicting confederate general and former Georgia Gov. John Brown Gordon on horseback is shown outside the Georgia statehouse Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Atlanta. Most of the 11 Southern states that seceded prior to and during the Civil War have rebel monuments on or near the grounds of their state Capitol buildings. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

John Bazemore

State Representative Vernon Jones (D-Lithonia) today announced that he will introduce legislation that would create a state commission on historic monuments during the 2018 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly.

“The recent events in Charlottesville, Va., have spurred on calls for the removal of historical monuments and artifacts that honor a dark era in Georgia’s history,” said Jones. “While I have my personal beliefs on the matter, I propose that a bipartisan, systematic and transparent study be conducted in an effort to arrive at an inclusive solution.”

Should this legislation pass and be enacted, this commission would hold statewide hearings to discuss historic monuments and artifacts, and would make recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly regarding monument placement and the possibility of adding new monuments that hold historic value to the citizens of Georgia.

“Hysteria and knee jerk reactions are not the solution. Sensitive subjects such as this deserve calm, practical and open dialogue. A house divided cannot stand, and Georgians must show the nation that we can unite for the greater good,” added Jones.

Commission members would reflect and represent a broad spectrum of interest on the subject, and would include, but not be limited to, preservationists, historians and advocacy groups.

Jones represents the citizens of District 91, which includes portions of DeKalb and Rockdale counties.

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    Until Obama was elected, all this BS had settled down, and everyone was getting along. The educated and sensible people within this state, know the history, and everyone in those categories, are tolerant and understanding, unless and until outsiders come here, and want to change the history, heritage, and the residents.
    Stop the hate damnit, and get over yourselves.

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    Wow! I was taught that if you go around killing statues, or even harming them, that you go to jail. If that had been what happened to the idiots that knocked over the statues, the first time, we wouldn’t even be going there now. One day, people will get smart and enforce the damn laws

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    Why are we even discussing monuments that have been up a century? Here’s why: because intolerant, anti-diversity, hateful, bigots are leading an attack on them. There is room in this state for everyone’s monuments. To call on “the other guy’s” monument to be taken down is regressive.

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    Or, our bottom of the barrel education system taught the lie about them that these people weren’t traitors to our country. And now that we know that they were treasonous traitors, we’ve decided that we don’t want to honor them in our public spaces anymore.

    We now know that the Confederate States of America was a country. And that these men fought for the CSA against the USA. That’s the textbook definition of a traitor.

    So there’s that.

  • Avatar

    “Hysteria and knee jerk reactions are not the solution. Sensitive subjects such as this deserve calm, practical and open dialogue. A house divided cannot stand, and Georgians must show the nation that we can unite for the greater good,” added Jones.” Sounds like you just gave in to the hysteria? There was no dialogue before. Apparently we live in a world where everyone asks for tolerance unless your from the South.

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    Never fails. Every time some false national narrative kicks up some lowlife weasel politician pops up spouting demogogery.

    Leave history alone. Leave our Monuments alone. Or step down.

 

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