Sex trafficking victim rescued at Lakeland motel
[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.]
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.
- Tennessee's current human trafficking laws
- Points of contact for human trafficking resources throughout Tennessee
CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to email@example.com.