Suspects in human trafficking appear in Love County court

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LOVE COUNTY, OK -- Four suspects allegedly involved in human trafficking appeared in Love County court Tuesday .

Raquel Jones, Paige Gardner, Amy Cliett and Nicholas Ford had a status hearing in a case where the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics made 18 arrests.

Oklahoma Bureau of narcotics officers said they don't usually investigate prostitution, but spokesman Mark Woodward said this case is different.

"In this case we did have information that it was possible some of these were minors," said Woodward. "And those who are minors involved in prostitution are automatically classified as human trafficking."

It turned out two of those involved were girls under 18. And during the course of the undercover investigation officers arrested 14 other people involved in the crime.

Jason May is the defense attorney for those four suspects that appeared Tuesday. Charges for all the suspects include pandering, solicitation of prostitution and using a computer to violate Oklahoma statutes.

May says he doesn't think the judge will let the case will go very far.

"I believe that based on what I've seen so far that it's unlikely that he will determine that there is sufficient evidence to go forward with the charges," said May.

But Woodward said this is a case of victims being held against their will.

"And being trafficked all over the country by handlers for profit, so it's a growing epidemic human trafficking," Woodward said.

The next court date for the four suspects will be August 6th for a preliminary hearing.