Nueces County Prosecutors help take down a global prostitution website

Posted at 5:57 PM, Apr 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-17 18:57:11-04

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer had already pleaded guilty to several charges in Arizona and California.

Ferrer stood in front of Judge Bobby Galvan in the 94th District Court last week, this time to plead guilty to money laundering and human trafficking.

The Texas Attorney General personally worked with our local human trafficking prosecutor on two other similar cases here in Nueces County against Jovan Miles and Barry Meeks.

Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez said,“ I think it’s very important that the community knows that Nueces county played a huge role, the only the county in Texas, that played a role in shutting down Backpage.”

Miles was the first human trafficking conviction for the Nueces County prosecutors focusing on human exploitation.

He was sentenced to 40-years in prison for the continuous trafficking of a minor.

Meanwhile; Meeks pleaded guilty to human trafficking and was sentenced to 32 years in prison.

The one thing these two cases have in common: Both men used Backpage to traffic their victims.

“Judge Galvan understands the issues and Backpage  and the enormity of what it means to shut down Backpage because of what he has seen through these cases that we have presented that have both been cases where a minor was trafficked for sex on Backpage,” said  Human Sex Trafficking Prosecutor Michelle Putnam.

According to the Attorney General’s office, 73 percent of all child trafficking cases reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children involved Backpage.

The district attorney says human trafficking victims are often closer to home people may think.

“It’s our family members. Our cousins, our sisters who actually get trapped in here, and then there is no way out,”  Gonzalez said. “Hopefully with shutting this down it’s a huge win for the good guys.”