LEA COUNTY, NM (KCBD) - Three Lubbock men have been charged with human trafficking and false imprisonment after a traffic stop in Lea County.
The Lea County Sheriff's Office released a statement about the arrests on Wednesday.
The stop happened on U.S. Highway 62/180 near Mini Ranch Road on May 8 around 11 p.m.
The vehicle was stopped for speeding. The driver of the vehicle, 29-year-old Jerry Johnson of Lubbock did not have a valid driver's license. The officer also observed an open container of an alcoholic beverage in plain sight.
Two other Lubbock men, 22-year-old Toquan Yates and 22-year-old Dequante Jackson were also in the vehicle, along with a juvenile female.
Authorities say an interview with the suspects revealed that they were traveling from Lubbock, TX to Carlsbad, NM to engage in the criminal offense of prostitution, and that the girl was being taken against her will.
Johnson, Yates and Jackson are all facing charges for human trafficking and false imprisonment.
They were taken to the Lea County Detention Facility in Lovington.
The girl was taken into protective custody through the Children Youth and Family Divisions.
Because of the nature of the human trafficking charges, Homeland Security will be conducting an investigation with the possibility of federal prosecution.