Thursday, May 24, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg woman accused of forcing teen runaways into prostitution

TAMPA — Federal authorities have accused a 22-year-old St. Petersburg woman of pimping out a pair of teen girls using a website.

In a probable cause affidavit filed this week, a Tampa FBI agent laid out a case against Keosha Renee Jones.

Authorities said that over several days in December 2012 and January 2013, Jones was involved in a child sex trafficking scheme involving two victims, who were 14 and 16.

Jones, officials say, posted nude pictures of the girls to www.backpage.com, a classified ad site. Then she made them perform sex acts at motels in Pinellas County. Jones and another suspect kept the cash.

The girls were runaways, officials said, and told detectives they thought Jones would kill them if they didn't make money.

Human and sex-trafficking schemes have become a huge issue in law enforcement. Federal, state and local officials have made several arrests recently, and have vowed to step up enforcement in the Tampa Bay area.

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