Eight in Utah indicted for crimes relating to child sex trafficking

Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-14 20:02:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Eight people from Utah have been named in four indictments regarding child sex trafficking offenses and other related charges.

Abiodu Salankole is charged with two counts of sex trafficking of children in an indictment relating to two minor victims.

Kyle Hale of Riverton and Gloire Seba of Sandy are charged with nine counts, including sex trafficking of children, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and transporting a minor for prostitution. That indictment relates to four minor victims.

Raquel Knell and Saquan Smith, both of Salt Lake City, are charged with four counts, which includes sex trafficking of children and relates to two minor victims.

Ashley Poike, of Sandy, as well as Hector Irizarry Castro and Thomas Marte-Pena, of Salt Lake City, are charged with nine counts, including sex trafficking of children. The indictment relates to one adult victim and two minor victims.

The press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office states some victims of the alleged crimes are included in more than one indictment.

“So this is a longer-term investigation, it involves conduct that occurred a year and a half ago or more, and so Salt Lake City Police Department has worked very hard on this case as well as agents from the FBI,” said John Huber, United States Attorney.

All of the defendants charged in the indictments pleaded not guilty in federal court Wednesday.

Two defendants were released subject to supervision by the U.S. Probation Office while the other six remain in custody awaiting detention hearings set for Monday.

The potential maximum penalty for sex trafficking of children is life in federal prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.