By: KDKA-TV News Staff
HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Three people are facing a number of felony charges filed by Pennsylvania State Police in connection with the alleged operation of a drug distribution and human trafficking ring.
According to police, the three people facing charges allegedly operated the ring in and around the Reading area of Berks County.
The three facing charges have been named by police as:
- 50-year-old Hector Rivera, of Reading
- 31-year-old Dushawn Ellis, of Reading
- 36-year-old Bridget Thompson, of Lancaster
Police say that last year, a confidential source led investigators to develop leads and identify victims.
The results of a police investigation were then provided to the State’s Attorney General’s Office and presented to a statewide investigating grand jury.
Earlier this year, the grand jury found all three suspects being charged were found to be ‘operating a corrupt organization involved in the human trafficking of young women for the commercial sex trade.’
Police say that Thompson allegedly used drugs to lure victims into prostitution.
Female victims would receive payments from customers, and the money would be turned over to any of the three suspects.
Some of the felony charges the suspects face include:
- Corrupt organizations
- Trafficking in individuals
- Criminal conspiracy