TACOMA, Wash. – Seven gang members were charged as part of child sexual-exploitation ring centered in Tacoma and Lakewood, the Pierce County prosecutor’s office said in a news release Tuesday.
Five men were arrested and two more are still at large on various crimes related to human trafficking.
“Cracking down on human sex trafficking is one of our top priorities, especially when the victims are underage,” prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a statement.
Prosecutors said the case began when Matthew “Boo” Holt, the 25-year-old leader of the Tillicum Park Gangsters street gang, was heard on a call from jail discussing a prostitution operation.
“I don’t treat (women and girls) like nothing but the (expletive) on the bottom of my shoe,” Holt said on the call, according to prosecutors.
The case was escalated to the Child Exploitation Task Force, which is led by the FBI.
Fifteen alleged victims have been identified, including one who is 13 years old. Prosecutors said the victims were forced to engage in prostitution in Tacoma, Lakewood, Olympia, Lacey and Bellingham from the summer of 2016 through last month.
The other men who were arrested are Jamaal Lamont Pinkney, 33; Monjae Nykyle Haynesworth, 21; Michael Jerome Hurst, 27; and Howard Ray Jones, 19.
The two men still at large are 19-year-old Quantreyvis Alonzo Smith and 34-year-old Clayton Tyrone King III. Both were last known to live in Tacoma. Bail for all seven was set at $1 million.