Updated: 04/11/2013 7:45 AM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste
Two St. Paul brothers and their uncles were charged in a sex trafficking ring that was in operation for nearly two years.
According to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, 29-year-old Otis Deno Washington was charged with one count of first-degree sex trafficking, two counts of second-degree sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit second-degree sex trafficking.
His brother, 27-year-old Antonio Washington-Davis was charged with one count each of first-degree sex trafficking, second-degree sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit second-degree sex trafficking.
Two of their uncles were also charged. Fifty-six-year-old Robert Washington was charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree sex trafficking, and 49-year-old Calvin Ray Washington was charged with second degree sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit second-degree sex trafficking.
Twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth Ann Alexander was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit second-degree sex trafficking.
According to a criminal complaint, St. Paul Police received an email from a woman who said her 15-year-old granddaughter had been targeted by a group of sex traffickers in the 600 block of Hawthorne in St. Paul. She said, "A number of women (were) being sold for sex."
A man, later identified as Otis Deno Washington, allegedly took the teen and her friend to a home on Hawthorne.
The teen told police that Otis Deno Washington and his brother brought them to Robert Washington's home.
Otis Deno Washington allegedly told the teen her friend was, "Going to serve as a prostitute for the group." According to the complaint, he tried to get the teen to prostitute herself as well.
The teen said the brothers arranged for another girl to meet up with men in Minneapolis and Inver Grove Heights who had responded to ads placed by Otis Deno and Antonio Washington.
Investigators identified more victims. They learned the family had placed hundreds of ads on adult-oriented websites including Backpage.com.
Another victim told officers the brothers, "Prey on young women who are mentally slow and/or vulnerable and recruit them into prostitution."
The human trafficking operation involved numerous victims and multiple communities throughout Minnesota. It operated from Sept. of 2010 to July of 2012.
Otis Deno Washington Pictured in Photo Above.