Latest Backpage Bust Suggests New Avenue For Catching Human Trafficking Conspirators: Texting History

There has been no shortage of disheartening news for the bad-faith operators behind the infamous Backpage underage sex trafficking scheme vociferously advocated by Tony Ortega and other spineless lackies who stood up to defend the indefensible.

This past weekend news of a warrant application leaked to media outlets in Florida for the arrest of nine men in connection with pimping yet another underage girl for sex on Backpage.

The facts surrounding the case are as disgusting as you can imagine.

All nine men, including the adult accused of originally offering the girl, are charged with human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

But it is to the particular final charge there at the end we turn our attention. It is of particular interest to us, and no doubt to Tony Ortega and his bosses, because it highlights a potential new area of legal jeopardy for Backpage and its shameless host of co-conspirators.

The warrant application describes how the men were identified: investigators discovered texts from the app the suspects used to communicate while planning and executing their unlawful acts. These texts identified the cellphones used and the hotels where they sometimes met up. The trafficked girl then was able to confirm their identities, leading to the arrests of all involved.

The men who were picked up in various Florida counties all face the same charges, according to Hernando County sheriff’s officials. That agency, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and other law enforcement agencies made the subsequent arrests.

The two-year investigation began with an anonymous tip about people responding to an online ad posted on Backpage offering sex for money. Following these tips authorities were able to follow the trail of communication between suspects, gathering all the information they needed to have a judge sign off on the warrants.

Could this latest story suggest a way forward in a possible conspiracy charge for men like Tony Ortega? We have no shortage of damning evidence in the way of public statements made by Ortega and his friends. How many more smoking gun confessions might yet be found if federal authorities were to be given warrants to examine in detail the communication between Ortega and his bosses?

If this latest case is anything to go by, the future of the Federal Government’s case against Backpage may have just gotten a lot more complicated for loudmouthed Backpage henchmen like Tony Ortega who’ve been only too eager to communicate their true feelings about how to make human trafficking profitable.

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