POSTED: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 11:16pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 9:40am
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — A former UTEP football player and now El Paso County juvenile probation officer is being accused of sex trafficking, say federal investigators.
On Friday, federal authorities arrested 28-year-old Timothy McCullouch Jr., and charged him with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of persons and one substantive count of sex trafficking a minor.
McCullouch Jr., who is originally from Long Beach, California, transferred to UTEP and played for the University's football team in 2005.
He later played semi-professional football for the El Paso Raiders, but has since reportedly been kicked off the team after he was arrested.
It is unclear whether McCullouch's position as a juvenile probation officer is connected to the sex trafficking charges.
Investigators say McCullouch Jr. was involved in forcing juveniles and adults into prostitution with five suspected members of the Folk Nation/Gangster Disciples gang between May 2012 and March 2013 in El Paso; Killeen, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Las Vegas, Nevada, and in Colorado.
The five suspected gang members, who have also been indicted for their roles in the sex trafficking scheme, include: 25-year-old Deion Lockhart, 21-year-old Brandon Shapiro, 20-year-old Tai Von Lynch, 24-year old Richard Gray, and 23-year-old Emmanual Lockhart.
All five remain in custody pending a trial set for June 6th, 2014.
"We are considered to be one of the most intense trafficking regions in the nation," said John Martin, the Executive Director of the Paso Del Norte Center of Hope.
The six men allegedly forced both minors and adults to have sex with clients for money, and threatened or beat them if they refused.
"These are our children. Boys and girls that are being impacted and forced into something such as prostitution," said Martin.
Investigators believe this scheme is connected to a separate but similar case involving two men believed to be members of the Folk Nation/Gangster Disciples gang, as well.
Kiry Hakeem Nalls and Grant Rutledge were indicted last July on forced prostitution charges when prosecutors say the two pimps forced a 16-year-old girl to have sex with male clients for money at a Comfort Inn on Yarborough, according to criminal complaint documents.
And in a second case last March, the two allegedly kept a woman against her will for a week at a Super 8 Motel, made her work as a prostitute, beat her, and cut her arms with a razor.
Nalls and Rutledge face up to life in prison, if convicted. Their trial is set for March 3rd, 2014.
"For us to be able to eradicate trafficking, and what was referred to as modern day slavery, the community in and of itself needs to come together because we need the eyes and ears of the people," said Martin.
Timothy McCullouch Jr. will be in federal court on January 24th, 2014. He faces up to life in prison, if convicted.
The Paso Del Norte Center of Hope urges you to report a suspected trafficker to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888. They say you should never confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions.
It is law enforcement's duty to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking.
They say several indicators of a person being trafficked include, but are not limited to:
· Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
· Has a child stopped attending school?
· Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
· Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
· Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
· Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
· Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
· Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
· Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
· Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
· Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
· Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
· Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?
For more information contact the Center of Hope through 915-231-8882.
Their mailing address is:
Paso del Norte Center of Hope
c/o El Paso Center for Children
2200 N. Stevens
El Paso, Texas 79930