Two women rescued from alleged human traffickers

Tucker

Tucker

By Trudy Balcom

tbalcom@rawlinstimes.com

RAWLINS — A young woman who was allegedly the victim of human trafficking mouthed the words “help me” to a Wyoming Highway Patrol officer last week at the Shell station in Walcott Junction, resulting in the arrest of a California couple.

Lester Tucker, 38, of Oakland, Calif., and Janice Scott, 27, of Modesto, Calif., have both been charged with first degree human trafficking, and conspiracy to commit human trafficking “for the purpose of sexual servitude,” charging information stated.

Tucker is being held in the Carbon County Jail on $250,000 cash bond; bond has been set for Scott $100,000 cash. The two face up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for the couple for Jan. 20.

Officers initially responded to a call reporting a domestic disturbance in a vehicle traveling on the interstate Thursday, according to an affidavit filed in Carbon County Circuit Court Monday.

Later on the reporting party texted dispatch, stating, “He is going to kill her.”

Scott

Scott

Officers pulled in behind the suspect’s vehicle while parked at gas pumps at a Shell station at Walcott Junction. A pair of WHP troopers who responded identified a man and woman in the driver’s and front passenger seat of the car as Tucker and Scott. There were two other women in vehicle as passengers.

One of the passengers, a young woman, identified only as NB, was standing near an open rear door of the suspect’s car when she mouthed the words “help me” to a WHP trooper, who gestured for her to approach him.

When she did, she positioned herself so that the open door of the trooper’s vehicle “was between her and the man and woman,” the affidavit stated.

The young woman told the trooper “in a very quiet voice that she and the other girl were being held and being taken to California,” according to the affidavit.

NB said that Tucker had threatened to kill them and accused him of raping her at a truck stop not long before, the affidavit stated

Police then approached the vehicle to speak with the other young woman in the car, sitting in the back seat. Identified as SP, the young woman told the officer the same thing — that she and the other girl were being held and taken to California, and that Tucker planned to force NB into prostitution.

“SP was crying and visibly shaking while (the officer) was speaking with her,” the affidavit stated.

The girls told police they had left Philadelphia with the couple, when Tucker and Scott promised to drive them to California and help them get jobs and a new start, the affidavit stated.

But after they got out of Pennsylvania, Tucker “turned mean and threatened them with physical harm if they tried to get away,” NB alleged in the affidavit.

SP told police that Scott had once held her arm while Tucker hit one of her fingers with a hammer.

22 Responses to Two women rescued from alleged human traffickers

  1. shirley Henderson January 12, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    kudos to the state patrol in wyo. Proud of you.

    Reply
  2. Soule432@gmail.com January 12, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Job well done officers!

    Reply
    • lorenewtx January 14, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you officer for being alert. This could have turned ugly…

      Reply
  3. totalltosquat January 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    What an attractive pair.

    Reply
  4. Karen January 13, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Way to go who trooper!

    Reply
  5. Lindsey January 13, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Thank God for this blessed out come! Thank God for the ones that protect us!Thank God always in Jesus name amen.

    Reply
  6. Colleen January 13, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Amazing strength from those two young ladies to ask for help. Having aware troopers made all the difference also.

    Reply
  7. Carleena January 13, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Way to go troopers! May God bless you and keep you safe always.

    Reply
  8. Helen January 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    GOD bless the two woman that got away and thanks to the State Troopers for helping them. GOD was with them!

    Reply
    • Cecilia January 20, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Really? And all the ones that don’t get away? Where is your god then?

      Reply
      • J Cuev July 11, 2016 at 8:52 am

        God gives us all free will. We are not his slaves. How could the acts of man make you point the figure at God. God is with us all. As good as we get or as bad as we get. The question should be… where is our humanity? I hope one day we all see that we have fallen far from grace.

        Reply
  9. Bliz canada January 13, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I’m glad my Lil cousin is OK and the other girl thank god!!

    Reply
  10. Holly January 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Oh bless their hearts! Praise God it turned out like it did and these 2 folks are behind bars and the girls were able to get help and get away from them!

    Reply
  11. Lynn January 14, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Thank u Jesus that the officer was on his job…may God continue to watch over these young ladies n hopefully we can start educating others about human trafficking n how real it is

    Reply
  12. Kelly January 14, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    This is the best news across America today. The troopers are heroes in my book. God directed them to the car, and they listened. Sex trafficking is so alive in our country. From California those two gals faced being forced into Mexico…from there, who knows. God Bless them both…and God Bless their heroes.

    Reply
  13. Gloria January 14, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Excellent job, troopers!!

    Reply
  14. Gregory Dapice January 14, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Thank God for the Police Officers, our true heroes.

    Reply
  15. Dawn January 15, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out why they would have gotten into the car with them in the first place. SMH

    Reply
  16. georgie D lee January 15, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    From the looks of the woman the girls need to be in protective custody for a while

    Reply
  17. mark roca January 18, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    he has tiny little fingers

    Reply
  18. Pingback: Two women rescued from alleged human traffickers | Rawlins Daily Times | Human Trafficking in the U.S.

  19. Jessicah Taylor April 19, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    I want to know more details. Some things are not making sense. Where was the couple? Did they go inside and leave the girls unattended? Did the women get an immediate rape kit?

    Reply

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