AUSTIN – Authorities arrested a man Thursday on felony human trafficking charges.
27-year-old Deondre J. Jenkins was charged with one count of trafficking a child for sexual purpose. The victim is a 16-year-old female runaway who the defendant trafficked and forced into prostitution.
Investigation indicated that Jenkins compelled the victim to engage in at least 100 paid sexual encounters, and kept the money for his personal financial benefit.
According to the Texas Attorney General’s Fugitive and Special Investigation Units, Jenkins transported the victim to Austin, San Antonio and Dallas. He also used online advertisements to solicit paid sexual encounters with the girl.
After tracing Jenkins’ most recent online advertisement to Milwaukee, Wis., SIU officers, with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety, contacted the Milwaukee Police Department.
Milwaukee police successfully located the victim and took her into protective custody. Travis County Sheriff’s Department authorities transported her back to Austin.
The human trafficking investigation into Jenkins originated with a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Based on the NCMEC referral, SIU officers identified the victim.
Jenkins is currently incarcerated at the Travis County Jail on a $75,000 bond. If convicted, Jenkins faces up to life in prison.
In 2009, Texas took major steps to fight human trafficking by creating the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force. Attorney General Abbott chairs the Task Force, which just issued its 2012 “Texas Response to Human Trafficking” report.
Click here for more information about the Office of the Attorney General’s battle against human trafficking and a copy of the 2012 report.