Four Columbia men, facing federal sex trafficking charges, were arrested in Georgetown County on Friday – the day the latest search in the Brittanee Drexel case began in a wooded lot off of Foxfire Court.
Supervisory Agent Don Woods of the FBI declined to comment Sunday on whether the arrests were related to the ongoing investigation into Drexel’s disappearance and death. But jailhouse informants told police the 17-year-old from Rochester, N.Y., was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and trafficked before she was killed and dumped in an alligator pit after her disappearance on April 25, 2009.
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Da’Shun Shukur Curry, 24, Kerry Ontavic Taylor, 23, Howard Alli Parker, 25, and Ryan Shaquon Turner, 24, were arrested by U.S. Marshals in Georgetown County on Friday afternoon.
Each are accused of working with others to force minors and women older than 18 into the commercial sex trade. But no charges are listed for their arrests in the Georgetown County Detention Center. The U.S. Marshals office reported the men were picked up on warrants from the U.S. attorney’s office in Charleston.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Austin, who is prosecuting the trafficking case, could not be reached for comment Monday.
Curry, also listed by the nickname of “Dae Dae” in a superseding indictment filed in May, is accused of forcing three minors to engage in commercial sex acts at different times from December 2013 to June 2014. He faces two counts of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking with children.
Taylor, cited with the nickname “KJ” in federal court papers, is accused of “recruiting, enticing, transporting, providing, obtaining or maintaining” two minors and a woman identified as “S.B.” to engage in commercial sex acts between March 2014 and March 2015. He is also accused of using one of the minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct to market the trade between March 2014 and April 2015.
Taylor has been charged with two counts of conspiring to commit sex trafficking with minors.
Parker, also known as “Poppa” in court papers, is accused of forcing a minor and another woman identified as “D.B.” to engage in commercial sex acts at different times between March and April 2014.
Parker is facing two counts of conspiring to commit sex trafficking with children.
Turner, also known as “Gotti” and “Qweezy” in court papers, is facing two counts of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking with children.
All four entered pleas of not guilty to the charges in May and have been flagged for custody status in the case. Others charged in the case are Damon Taquan Jackson, also known as “Daddy Frost;” Tremel Black, aka “Sincere;” Bakari Shahid “Bizzle” McMillan; Desmond “Six” Singletary; Robert “Kareem Banks” Black; and Corey Orentheses “Clow” Miller, also known as “OG P.”
Jackson, McMillan and Miller were found guilty of sex trafficking and conspiracy charges on March 24. They have yet to be sentenced.
Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor was arrested in July on federal charges stemming from an old state conviction of a 2011 armed robbery for suspected ties to the Brittanee Drexel case. An FBI agent admitted at a bond hearing for Taylor last year they sought the charges, in part, because they suspect Taylor was involved in Drexel’s disappearance.
A jailhouse informant, now serving more than 25 years for manslaughter, told authorities he saw Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor and others sexually assaulting Drexel at a “stash house.” The informant said Drexel tried to escape while he was there, but she was dragged back into the house and killed.
Taylor’s federal case has been postponed until May.