Portland rapper Meezilini indicted in federal prostitution sweep
A former Portland-area rapper whose girlfriend was killed last year in Hawaii was among several people indicted Monday in connection with transporting young woman across the country for prostitution.
Mark Meezilini Miles Jr. was charged in federal court with violation of the Mann Act and the Travel Act in connection with the May 2013 death of Ivancie Ivy Harris, whose body was found near Yokohama Bay on Oahus leeward coast.
Marine Corps Master Sgt. Nathaniel L. Cosby, 38, has been charged with Harris death and is awaiting trial. Cosby, an explosives ordnance disposal technician assigned to the Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 in Iwakuni, Japan, was on a temporary assignment in Hawaii when he was accused of killing Harris and dumping her body.
On Monday, Jan. 27, federal indictments were unsealed, charging eight Portland-area pimps with violating the Mann Act and the Travel Act by transporting young women from Portland across the country for prostitution, including to Honolulu, Las Vegas and Anchorage.
In addition to 35-year-old Miles, others named in the indictments include 40-year-old Steven Flawless Huffman Jr., 32-year-old Jorge Baby Slim Ortega Jr., 38-year-old Jermaine Chocolate Hankins, 28-year-old Michael Mackin Mike Willis Jr., 23-year-old DeShawne The Don Howard, 32-year-old Samuel Sammega Howard Jr. and 33-year-old Camillio Killa Carradine.
The indictments stem from Operation Traffic Stop, an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacie Fatka Beckerman is prosecuting the cases.
Several of the defendants were scheduled to be in federal court Monday afternoon.
Miles was charged with two counts of violating the Mann Act, and two counts of violating the Travel Act, for transporting 29-year-old Ivanice Ivy Harris from Oregon to Hawaii in May 2012 and May 2013. Harris was killed in Hawaii during the May 2013 trip.
Miles entered a not-guilty plea during a hearing Monday afternoon. A trial has been scheduled for April 1. Hankins also entered a not-guilty plea to the charges Monday. His trial also is scheduled for April 1.
In the four-count indictment, Miles was accused of traveling to Hawaii between May 2012 and May 2013 to promote prostitution, at least twice with Harris.
Harris had moved to Las Vegas, but a family spokesman said she planned to return to the Portland area to attend community college. Family and friends set up a Facebook site during the several-day search for Harris and held a rally and a march in Portland to draw attention to her case.
Local traffickers are sending young Portland-area women all over the country to have sex with strangers for money, said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. These young women, far from home, are being placed in grave danger, so that their pimp can buy himself a Mercedes, or a Cadillac, or an expensive pair of jeans. The reason traffickers do what they do is because they think they can get away with it; we are here to show them they are wrong.
The other defendants are charged with Mann Act violations for transporting young women to the states of Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho and Minnesota, for prostitution. The defendants are also charged with Travel Act violations, for their own travel to other states to facilitate their prostitution enterprise. A Mann Act violation carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A Travel Act violation carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Two others have not been arrested, and those indictments remain sealed. Those two are also charged with sex trafficking a minor, as well as transporting the minor for prostitution.
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