Seven indicted by Colorado grand jury in child sex trafficking ring bust
DENVER — A Colorado grand jury has indicted seven people who are accused of running a child sex trafficking ring in the Denver metro area, according to records unsealed last week.
According to the indictment, the group is accused of recruiting three juvenile girls and at least one woman, and forcing them into prostitution, renting them for sex acts out of Denver-area hotel rooms.
The ring is indicted on 59 counts, which include kidnapping, keeping a place of child prostitution, pimping of a child, soliciting for child prostitution and assault with a deadly weapon, among others.
Ring members are accused of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, keeping money made from pimping the victims, giving the victims drugs such as marijuana and ecstasy, and also beating and sexually assaulting the victims.
RELATED: Read the full indictment
Brock Franklin, Michelle Payne, Isis Debreaux, Donye Johnson, David Fullenwiley Jones, Brandon Garrison and Ralph Jones were listed in the indictment, with 29-year-old Franklin listed as the ringleader. All of the indicted except for Ralph Jones have been arrested, with Jones’ arrest pending, according to authorities.
Franklin allegedly recruited girls by contacting them through Facebook, and meeting them at hotels and nightclubs, routinely using violence, drugs and sexual assault to control and coerce the victims, according to the indictment.
Franklin allegedly set rules for the sexually exploited victims, including that they meet daily earning quotas.
Payne is accused of renting hotel rooms used by the ring, instructing the victims on the practices of prostitution, supervising the victims and taking money earned by them to give to Franklin.
Ring members allegedly rented rooms at various hotels and motels across Denver, including a Doubletree Hotel, the Warwick Hotel, the Commons Hotel, the Red Lion Hotel and a Motel 6, then forced the victims to engage in commercial sex acts while pocketing the victims’ earnings.
Members of the ring allegedly encouraged the victims to post ads on Backpage.com to find patrons who would pay to engage in sexual acts with the victims. One member of the ring, authorities said, knowingly allowed his home in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood to be used for child prostitution.
The indictment said the alleged crimes took place from 2014 through the summer 2015.
The indictment was filed Nov. 6 by state prosecutors and unsealed Dec. 29 per a court order. The case is being prosecuted in Arapahoe County because officials said the majority of the ring’s crimes were committed there, according to the Denver Post.
The ages of the victims were not included in the indictment.
The Post reports Franklin is being held at the Arapahoe County jail without bond. Payne, who was arrested last week on 31 felony counts in the case, is being held there as well, in lieu of $50,000 bond.
Franklin is next due in court Jan. 11 for a hearing on bond.