Grand jury indicts 5 suspects on human trafficking charges

 

DOVER — Five suspects arrested in May on human trafficking charges were indicted by a grand jury last week in Kent County Superior Court.

Jason Haith, Taliesha Haith, Jessica A. Hutkin, Donnell Singletary and Austin White were part of an alleged conspiracy involving a 16-year-old female’s forced prostitution. They were arrested after an investigation began on May 8 after a juvenile was reported missing by a foster parent, according to the Delaware State Police at the time.

Dover residents Mr. Haith, 18, Ms. Haith, 34, and Mr. Singletary, 32, allegedly orchestrated prostitution activities via text, cell phone and online, authorities said, along with Smyrna residents Ms. Hutkin, 34, and Mr. White 19.

Charges for all included trafficking an individual, sexual servitude, second-degree promoting prostitution and second-degree conspiracy. Mr. Haith and Ms. Hutkin were also charged with motor vehicle theft and second-degree conspiracy.

According to authorities, detectives located a photo of the missing juvenile on www.backpage.com that was confirmed by her foster parent. She was reported missing on March 27, police said.

Mr. Haith, Ms. Hutkin and Mr. Haith were taken into custody without incident while traveling in a vehicle reported stolen in Philadelphia on April 6, police said. Mr. Singletary and Ms. Haith were taken into custody at Mr. Haith’s residence in the 1000 block of East Lebanon Road in Dover, where investigators believe the alleged prostitution was coordinated.

Jason Haith

Taliesha Haith

Jessica A. Hutkin

All defendants were held by the Delaware Department of Correction on secured bonds immediately following their arrests.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Delaware Department of Justice assisted in the investigation.

Donnell Singletary

Austin White

Other indictments returned last week included, among others:

• Dexter Brown, 24, was charged with drug and firearm offenses related to a two-month investigation in the first block of South Kirkwood Street in Dover that concluded with the late morning raid of two homes on May 23.

Mr. Brown was charged with two counts each of drug dealing and possession of a firearm by person prohibited, and possession of firearm ammunition by person prohibited and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna on a secured bond.

Four other men were also facing charges in the incident, the Dover Police Department said.

The Dover PD, Delaware Probation and Parole, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Drug Enforcement Agency all took part in the operation.

• Denzel D. Braker, of Dover, was indicate on two counts of possession of a firearm by person prohibited and carrying a concealed deadly weapon connected to an arrest in the Manchester Square neighborhood on June 8.

Dover Police claimed Mr. Braker, then 21, was found with a 9mm handgun in his waistband while sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle at 10:10 p.m., past his mandated curfew time. He was arrested without incident, according to authorities.

• Theaddis I. Johnson, 20, of Milford, and Richard R. Vantine, 24, of Smyrna, were arrested after an alleged traffic violation in Dover on April 7 and indicted on drug and weapons charges

Dover Police said Mr. Johnson was driving when the stop on U.S. 13 and Division Street occurred at 11:01 p.m. and drug paraphernalia was allegedly seen in plain view.

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Vantine were both charged with possession of firearm or ammunition by person prohibited, carrying a concealed deadly weapon (identified as a semi-automatic Hi Point handgun), possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. A second-degree conspiracy charge was also brought in the indictment.

Mr. Johnson was also charged with traffic violations including driving while suspended or revoked, and failure to use turn signal.

Both were held at JTVCC on secured bond following arrest.

• Dennis L. Stevens Jr., 38, was indicted on a third offense DUI in connection with a June 2 traffic stop in the area of South New and Reed streets in Dover, according to police. He was driving a Jeep Cherokee at 12:59 a.m. when arrested, according to authorities.

Dover Police claimed Mr. Stevens fled on foot after driving to South Queen Street and was tracked by K9 Riko before being taken into custody without incident. He was held at JTVCC after failing to post cash bond, police said.

Other counts included disregarding a police officer signal, resisting arrest, driving while suspended/revoked, speed exhibitions, failure to have insurance in possession, possession of registration card and aggressive driving.

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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