INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Human trafficking, drug dealing and prostitution are all part of a five-month-long investigation by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Undercover Metro detectives say a grand jury has indicted three people for felony charges after they learned a woman was being held against her will and used for sex.
24-Hour News 8 spoke with undercover Vice detective Laura Smith who says the initial police run was for an alleged rape but what officers found in a couple of rooms at the Motel 6 on Indianapolis' east side was evidence of prostitution. That investigation turned into a Human Trafficking investigation.
Now, three people facing felony charges in the case:
- Chris Smiley, 27
- Ayannah Willis, 26
- Latoya Harlin, 21
Court documents detail the relationships of the three, who called themselves "Team Smiley."
The victim says Smiley gave her parents drugs, but they didn't pay for the drugs. So, she says she was forced to pay for her parents' drug debt.
According to court documents the victim was taken hostage and forced to strip at the Wild Cheri Strip Club in Speedway. She told police she was forced to give Willis any money she earned.
Police talked to the manager of the Wild Cheri and he told investigators he remembered the victim. He said she showed up to work one day with a black eye so, he told her she couldn't dance. He said he never saw her again.
The victim told police that night Willis threatened to "rape her with the knife." The victim says that's when Willis told her she would have to prostitute herself to pay off her parents' drug debt: she "would perform sexual acts and sexual intercourse with several men a day from ads" on "Craig's list" and "live links" phone line.
The victim tried to escape but she says Smiley "pointed a black semi-automatic gun at her and hit her in the side of the head with it" saying "You know what happens to the girls that try to run?"
Det. Smith says while this is only the second case of Human Trafficking in Marion county it may be more common than first believed.
"Actually I think it's happening a lot more than we even know I really do. There is a lot of people that are scared to talk to the police, a lot of people that distrust the police." said Det. Smith.
As it stands Wednesday, there will be no FEMA aid for tornado survivors in Howard County.
We reached out to school systems across Central Indiana to see what their policy is for delaying or closing school when temperatures drop.
About 130 Indiana National Guard Soldiers returned home Wednesday to friends and family after nearly a year in Afghanistan.