Five arrested during undercover human trafficking operation in Berks County

The Berks County District Attorney’s Office has announced that five people have been arrested after members of the Berks County District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force conducted an undercover operation to combat illegal sex trade in Berks County on On January 29, 2024.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, detectives posted ads on websites commonly used for sexual advertisements. The defendants allegedly responded to the advertisements and agreed to meet and have sex with 14–15-year-old juveniles at undisclosed locations within Berks County in exchange for money. Five individuals were subsequently arrested at undisclosed locations without incident and the charges were filed.

- Advertisement -

The Berks County District Attorney’s Office established the task force to combat human trafficking existing within our communities. The task force is actively investigating criminal organizations and/or persons trafficking people by using force, the threat of force, fraud, coercion to recruit, harbor, transport, provide or obtain any person for labor or commercial sex. The task force is comprised of homeland security, state, city, and county police departments, DA’s Victim/Witness Unit and Zoe International.

The District Attorney’s Office encourages anyone having any information regarding human trafficking to please contact the District Attorney’s Office at 610-478-7171. Any information provided is kept anonymous.

“The harsh reality is that human trafficking is happening in our community. Future perpetrators should take heed that the person they’re interacting with on these websites, could be a member of our Human Trafficking Task Force. And if caught, we will arrest and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” said District Attorney John T. Adams.

- Advertisement -

The following individuals were arrested and face the charges listed:

Richard Keene, 70 years of age of Reading, PA. Bail: $5,000. Charges: Trafficking Individual, Statutory Sexual Assault, Unlawful Contact with Minor, Prostitution and Related Offenses, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

Darvin B. Eby, 52 years of age of Ephrata, PA. Bail: $50,000.00. Charges: Trafficking Individual, Statutory Sexual Assault, Unlawful Contact with Minor, Prostitution and Related Offenses, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

Adam Ismaili, 34 years of age of West New York, NJ. Bail: $50,000.00. Charges: Trafficking Individual, Statutory Sexual Assault, Unlawful Contact with Minor, Prostitution and Related Offenses, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

James E. Moon, 67 years of age of Sinking Spring, PA. Bail: $10,000.00. Charges: Trafficking Individual, Statutory Sexual Assault, Unlawful Contact with Minor, Prostitution and Related Offenses, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

Percival R. Williams, 46 years of age of Allentown, PA. Bail: $100,000.00. Charges: Promoted Prostitution and Related Offenses, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.

The defendants were transported to the Berks County Sheriff’s Department Central Processing Center where they were arraigned. Keene’s bail was set by Magisterial District Judge Ann L. Young. All other bails were set by Magisterial District Judge Tanya A. Butler.

As in every criminal case, the fact that an arrest occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

- Advertisement -
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
Reading
scattered clouds
73 ° F
77.4 °
70 °
67 %
0.3mph
45 %
Sat
84 °
Sun
88 °
Mon
87 °
Tue
87 °
Wed
80 °

Latest News

Sponsored

36,080FansLike
98,460FollowersFollow
2,160SubscribersSubscribe