Taquarius Ford Charged with Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud, Coercion
PORTLAND, Ore. — Taquarius Kaream Ford, also known as “Cameron,” has been indicted by a federal grand jury on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Ford has pled not guilty to all charges. Following a detention hearing today, U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Janice M. Stewart detained Ford, pending his trial. Trial is currently set for June 3, 2014, before U.S. District Court Judge Garr M. King.
The grand jury indictment alleges that Ford and a co-conspirator sex trafficked adult females in the District of Oregon and elsewhere, by force, fraud and coercion. In its’ court filings, the government alleges that Ford recruited young women in suburban shopping malls and elsewhere across the United States by posing as a modeling executive and promising them a modeling contract. He convinced young women to travel to Los Angeles, wined and dined them in Hollywood, and then told them that if they want to be models, they must first work for him as prostitutes. In one case, he recruited an 18-year-old girl at a suburban mall, flew her to Los Angeles, and took her to Hollywood parties. He then coerced her to work in his escort business, and when she protested, he forcibly raped her. Ford and his co-defendant also threatened to harm the victim’s family. Thereafter, defendants transported the victim to Portland for the purpose of prostitution, where she was rescued at an airport hotel by Port of Portland officers. Further investigation by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force revealed that defendant had recruited other young women across the country into his “escort” business. The FBI has identified additional victims in Idaho, Arizona, and Georgia.
Sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, and a statutory maximum of life imprisonment. A criminal indictment is only an allegation and not evidence of guilt. Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The FBI urges anyone who was victimized by Taquarius “Cameron” Ford, to contact the Portland FBI office at (503) 224-4181.
The charges stem from a continuing investigation by the FBI and the Tigard Police Department, members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacie Fatka Beckerman, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Glen Ujifusa of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.