2 Clearlake men arrested on suspicion of human trafficking for prostitution
Lake County authorities have arrested two Clearlake men suspected of human trafficking linked to prostitution, a bust that culminates a six-month investigation, District Attorney Don Anderson announced Friday.
Timothy Lee Williams, 52, was arrested Thursday as he sat in a car outside a motel where the District Attorney’s investigators set up a sting operation involving a woman they believed was working for Williams “possibly not of her free will,” Anderson said in a statement.
The investigators rented the motel room and summoned the woman through the internet, he said. The woman, who had been driven to the motel by Williams, allegedly agreed to have sex with two men at a cost of $200 an hour.
After the deal was made, investigators from the prosecutor’s office, aided by undercover agents from the Mendocino County Task Force and officers from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Clearlake Police Department, arrested Williams.
Investigators determined the woman, whose name was not disclosed, was selling herself “under force and fear of Williams,” Anderson said. She was treated as a victim rather than a suspected prostitute, he said.
Williams was jailed on four counts of human trafficking, one count of pimping and a parole violation. He was held on $50,000 bail.
Nicholas Troy Brooks, 38, was arrested Friday at the Lake County Jail, where he was in custody on drug and stolen vehicle charges. Investigators suspect him of human trafficking for prostitution, pimping, procuring a person for prostitution, inflicting traumatic injury on a person, threats to kill or produce great bodily injury and solicitation of perjury.
In the cases of both Williams and Brooks, five women told authorities they were forced into prostitution out of fear of being harmed and in some cases beaten by the men, Anderson said. A developmentally disabled young adult was allegedly forced into prostitution by Williams, Anderson said.
Williams and Brooks, who have a history of pimping and pandering, could face life sentences if they are convicted, he said.
“Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the United States and California” and is a “multibillion dollar operation” nationwide, Anderson said. The victims are often minors and may also be immigrants, he said.
The investigation is likely to identify additional victims and suspects, he said.
You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 707-521-5457 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter ?@guykovner.