Upstate Couple In Court For Sex Trafficking Accusation - WSPA.com

Upstate Couple In Court For Sex Trafficking Accusation

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A Greenville County couple accused in a sex trafficking ring was in court Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama. A Greenville County couple accused in a sex trafficking ring was in court Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama.
WASHINGTON -

Updated: August 22, 2013

A Greenville County couple accused in a sex trafficking ring was in court Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Jermaine Williams and Veronica Melvin both had their first court appearance in a hearing to establish probable cause.

Authorities arrested the pair in July during a raid.  Police say they rescued two underage Greenville County girls.

This investigation was part of a nationwide operation involving the FBI, covering 76 cities.  One hundred five children were rescued.

Updated: July 31, 2013

7 On Your Side has learned that two underage Greenville County girls were rescued and are in protective custody in Alabama Wednesday night.

The girls were rescued as a part of the sex trafficking sting conducted by the FBI and local enforcement earlier this week. 

Due to the nature of the crime, the victims' names will not be released.

Hoover, Alabama's Police Captain Jim Coker said both suspects Jermaine Williams, 32, and Veronica Melvin, 18, both of Greenville, will each be held on a $500,000 bond ... $125,000 bond for each of the charges; including two counts of first-degree human trafficking and two counts of first degree promoting prostitution.

According to Coker, the two victims who were rescued are expected to be sent back to South Carolina at some point, however, Coker was not aware of a specific date at this time.

The suspects are expected back in court August 22 at 1:30 p.m. in Birmingham, Alabama, courtroom. 

Updated: July 30, 2013

According to al.com two accused pimps arrested in the FBI child sex trafficking crackdown "Operation Cross Country" are from Greenville, SC.

The website reports Jermaine Williams, 32 and Veronica Melvin, 18 face two counts of human trafficking and two counts of promoting prostitution. 

They report 3 of the juveniles were ages 13 to 16 and rescued in the Birmingham, AL area.

Click Here to read more from AL.com

7 On Your Side reached out to the organization Justice Ministries out of Charlotte North Carolina. The agency helps victims of sex trafficking.  

"It's rare pimps are busted in the act often pimps are good at staying away from the situation and just the victims are left if there is a raid," Justice Ministries executive director Mark Blackwell said.

Blackwell says pimps are mobile and use interstates and motels to keep from being caught.

But he says the best way the FBI can track down sex trafficking crimes is if you help.

 You should report Human Trafficking crimes to the FBI at 1-800-Call-FBI or to the National Sex Trafficking Hotline at 1- 888- 373- 7888.  

Posted: July 29, 2013

The FBI says it has rescued 105 children who were forced into prostitution in the United States and arrested 150 people it described as pimps and others in a series of raids in 76 American cities.

The campaign, known as "Operation Cross Country," was the largest of its type and conducted under the FBI's "Innocence Lost" initiative. The assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigative division, Ron Hosko, said that child prostitution remains what he called a "persistent threat" to children across America.

The FBI said the campaign has resulted in rescuing 2,700 children since 2003.

The following list denotes FBI divisions, not necessarily actual cities, where juveniles were recovered and pimps were arrested.

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