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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2016

Wisconsin Man Pleads Guilty to Possession and Distribution of Heroin and the Prostitution of a Minor Child

FARGO - U. S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on April 22, 2016, Tyrice Excell Akins, 29, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pled guilty before U. S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to a three-count Indictment charging him with Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking, Transportation of a Minor, and Transportation to Engage in Prostitution. In addition to these charges, Akins also pled guilty to charges of possession and distribution of heroin out of Wisconsin.

The case came to the attention of law enforcement after the North Dakota Highway Patrol pulled over a rental vehicle driven by Kurtis Johnson. Found with Johnson was a woman and a 17-year-old female who Johnson transported from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Bismarck, North Dakota, for the purpose of prostitution. A subsequent investigation revealed that Johnson was provided narcotics by Akins in exchange for transporting women and one juvenile to various locations throughout the United States, including Florida, Louisiana, and North Dakota, throughout 2014 and 2015 for the purpose of prostitution.

This case was investigated by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant U. S. Attorney Jennifer Puhl is prosecuting the case.

This case was prosecuted with the assistance of the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force (NDHTTF), which includes regional response teams that consists of federal, state, and local law enforcement and victim service providers working together to identify and rescue human trafficking victims as well as investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, BCI, and the North Dakota Counsel on Abused Women Services (CAWS), the NDHTTF is dedicated to addressing the individualized needs of human trafficking victims and the apprehension, investigation, and prosecution of the perpetrators of human trafficking.

The NDHTTF includes representatives from Youthworks, the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Lutheran Social Services, the ND Association of Counties, a Force to End hUman Sexual Exploitation (FUSE), a survivor of human trafficking, First Nations Women’s Alliance (FNWA), and the Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Human Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated April 22, 2016