As Boise Weekly
recently reported, human trafficking
is a complex, hard-to-combat problem in the Treasure Valley. Now, a judge in Portland, Ore. has ordered 34-year-old Taquarius Ford to be held without bail until his June trial for sex trafficking an Idaho teenager, the Associated Press reports
Ford was charged with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy after he approached the teen girl at a Boise-area mall and allegedly convinced her he was with a modeling agency.
The AP reports that he flew the 18-year-old to Los Angeles, where court documents say he took her to expensive restaurants and to a party at the Playboy Mansion. Turns out, there was no modeling agency.
Ford is accused of coercing the woman to work for him as a prostitute. Prosecutors say that when she refused, he raped her and threatened to harm her family. Then he took her to Portland, where authorities say a hotel clerk rescued her a few months later after getting the feeling that something wasn’t right.
Investigations reveal that Ford forced at least two other women in to prostitution between September 2011 and June 2012, recruiting both from shopping centers. In a 38-page document found on Ford’s computer titled, “Denial of a Pimp,” he allegedly wrote, “Small towns are great places for finding new girls.” The manifesto included other strategies and exploits.
Ford was apprehended by FBI agents at the end of February when he flew into Florida from Sweden. He faces a minimum of 15 years in federal prison.