Eight Berks County men were arrested as part of an undercover investigation by the Berks County district attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force that focuses on the use of online advertisements to draw men who pay to meet minors for sex at motels.
Task force detectives placed ads early this week on websites commonly used for sex trade, officials said Thursday in announcing the arrests. The individuals replied to the advertisements and agreed to meet and have sexual relations with minors at a predetermined location, where they were arrested, detectives said.
District Attorney John T. Adams said the arrests should serve as a warning to those who engage in the sex trade as customers. He said many people are unaware that sex trafficking is happening in their community.
“The harsh reality is that human trafficking is happening in our community,” Adams said. “Future perpetrators should take heed that the person they’re interacting with on these websites could be a member of our Human Trafficking Task Force. And if caught, we will arrest and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”
The following were arrested:
• Elvis A. Diaz, 34, of the 1300 block of Church Street.
• Isaiah T. Speight, 25, of the 3500 block of Ridgeway Street, Laureldale.
• Eric J. Ruiz, 46, of the 900 block of Spruce Street.
• Joshua M. Spencer, 38, of the 300 block of North Main Street, Birdsboro.
• Keith J. Washington, 33, of the 300 block of Pear Street.
• Matthew Fisher, 47, of the first block of Seidel Road, Alsace Township.
• Muazong Kha, 30, of the 1000 block of Felix Court, Muhlenberg Township.
• Corey Moll, 37, of the first block of Main Street, Mohnton.
All are charged with criminal attempt to commit statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors.
Additionally, Diaz, Spencer, Fisher, Kha and Moll face a charge of trafficking in individuals.
All were committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of bail ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 following arraignment before District Judge Gail M. Greth.
Participating in the investigation with county detectives were task force members from the Spring Township, Wyomissing, Exeter Township, West Reading and Central Berks Regional police departments, the Department of Homeland Security and ZOE International.
Source: Berkshire mont
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