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Sex trafficking victim rescued at Lakeland motel

Suspects arrested in the case are, from left, Darius Hunt and Anna Stuckey.

Suspects arrested in the case are, from left, Darius Hunt and Anna Stuckey.

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[Updates: Updated 4:37 p.m. CST June 15 with details from the female suspect’s affidavit. Updated 4 p.m. CST June 15 with details from the male suspect’s affidavit. Updated 3:37 p.m. CST June 15 with ages and home city locations for suspects. Updated 4:51 p.m. CST June 14 with Tennessee statistics. Updated 3:54 p.m. CST June 14 with sentencing the male suspect could face.]

TN STATS

Tennessee isn’t immune to human trafficking cases. The National Human Trafficking Hotline had 336 Tennessee calls in 2016, with 108 cases reported.

Since 2007, the hotline has heard plenty from this state, including 1,703 calls and 441 cases and 1,169 victims.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the hotline at (888) 373-7888.

— Source: National Human Trafficking Hotline’s website, humantraffickinghotline.org

A 911 call led to the rescue of a teen sex trafficking victim in Lakeland on Tuesday and the arrests of two suspects, a male and female.

While the two responding officers were en route to the scene at the Super 8 Motel, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch advised them that the male suspect had left in an orange Dodge Challenger with a black racing stripe. Deputies located it at the Waffle House in front of the motel but continued to the scene.

They said the female victim was hysterical when they arrived. She told them she was being held against her will and forced to perform sex acts for money. The deputies put her safely in the back of their patrol car and headed toward the fire station on Beverle Rivera. As they were exiting the parking lot, they saw the male suspect’s car headed back toward to the motel, but they continued leaving with the victim.

They dropped her off at the fire station so paramedics could examine and treat her for injuries. (Later, other officers took her to the SCSO’s General Investigations Bureau once the paramedics determined she didn’t need medical treatment.)

The two original deputies, along with another deputy and a sergeant, went to the motel and were just in time to block the male suspect and a passenger from leaving the parking lot. They detained them without incident. In the truck were Darius Hunt, 22, of Memphis and Anna Schell Stuckey, 25. (Court records were unclear whether Stuckey’s current residence is in Olive Branch, Miss., or in Memphis.)

Hunt let deputies search the car, where they found a loaded AR-15 semiautomatic rifle with a 60-round drum magazine in the trunk. Officers seized the car and had it towed to the GIB crime scene bay lot, and they seized the weapon and tagged it into the Memphis Police Department’s property room.

A search of the motel room and vehicle turned up evidence consistent with sex-trafficking.

Officers arrested Hunt on felony charges of aggravated kidnapping and trafficking for commercial sex acts, as well as a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment, and took him to the Shelby County jail. They arrested Stuckey on outstanding warrants and took her to Jail East.

Hunt’s brother, Latorion Hunt, arrived during the investigation, and officers took him to the jail for an interview. Officers also seized the brother’s vehicle and took it the GIB crime scene bay. There has been no word yet on whether the brother was arrested and, if so, how he was charged.

If convicted, Darius Hunt would face 8-30 years on the aggravated kidnapping charge, a Class B offense, depending on his past record of convictions; up to 11 months and 29 days on the false imprisonment charge, a Class A misdemeanor; and 8-30 years on the trafficking charge, also a Class B felony.

Stuckey’s charges are related to an outstanding warrant, and there have been no charges announced against her yet in the Motel 8 case. The warrant was related to a Jan. 30 shoplifting incident for $263.98 in merchandise; she was convicted on March 31, served four days and was placed on probation. She violated two probation conditions, and a warrant for her arrest was issued on June 7.

Disturbing fact: Eighty-five percent of Tennessee’s counties have documented cases of human sex trafficking. Learn more at restorecorps.org.

Related resources


CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to carolyn.bahm@journalinc.com.

Signs of Human Trafficking

If someone you know exhibits any of these signs, please call the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-55-TNHTH (1-855-558-6484). No concern is too small.

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Significantly older boyfriend
  • Signs of trauma (physical or other)
  • Travel with older male (not guardian)
  • Chronic runaway
  • Multiple delinquent charges
  • Homelessness
  • Special marked tattoos
  • Substance abuse
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Source: restorecorps.org

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