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Press Release

Fresno Police Officer Receives Award for His Contributions to the Mission of the Department of Justice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California
2015 Outstanding Investigator Award Goes to Fresno Police Detective David Fries for Work on Sex Trafficking Cases

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner is pleased to announce the 2015 winner of the Eastern District of California Outstanding Investigator Award for the Fresno Division. This is one of four awards presented annually to a law enforcement agency and an officer in each of the Sacramento and Fresno divisions of the Eastern District of California to recognize outstanding collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement in addressing public safety issues in this region.

The 2015 Fresno Division’s Outstanding Investigator Award goes to Fresno Police Detective David Fries for his work on cases of sex trafficking of minors. Detective Fries is deserving of recognition for his diligent, principled work. With cases that are difficult to build and involve reluctant and sometimes antagonistic victims, Det. Fries works tirelessly until the case is closed. His efforts have been essential to the successful prosecution of these cases.

U.S. Attorney Wagner stated: “It is my honor to recognize David Fries for the difficult and important work of bringing to justice those who prey upon some of the most vulnerable members of our community. It is in large part due to the hard work of Detective Fries and his colleagues that the Eastern District of California is seen as a national leader in the investigation and prosecution of the commercial exploitation of children. We thank him for his service.”

Recent cases that Detective Fries has investigated are:

Maurice Hunt: This case involved the trafficking of a 13-year-old girl. Hunt sexually assaulted, beat and trafficked this girl in Fresno and Bakersfield for 10 days. Hunt represented himself at trial and was convicted of sex trafficking of a minor, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering charges. His 50-year prison sentence was recently upheld on appeal.

Tyrell Richmond: This case involved three 16-year-old runaway girls trafficked by Richmond in Fresno and Visalia. They were required to turn over all the cash they earned and were not permitted to leave their motel room, other than to get ice. Richmond pleaded guilty on December 14, 2015, and is scheduled to be sentenced April 11, 2016, for sex trafficking of a minor.

Tryvell Powell: This case involved the sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl in Fresno for about five months by Powell in which he forced the victim to earn a quota of $300 per day. Powell threatened to kill her and her unborn child if she left him. Powell pleaded guilty to enticement of a minor and was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison.

Updated March 29, 2016

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