A regional work group spear headed by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is working to fight human trafficking in the Shenandoah Valley. Click here for a press release from the FBI dated January 26, 2017 for more information on the work group and human trafficking.
On Tuesday, May 16, members of the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office came to Winchester and provided training on undercover human trafficking operations. The training was attended by officers and staff from the following agencies:
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Frederick County Sheriff Office
- Frederick Police Department (MD)
- Front Royal Police Department
- Hagerstown Police Department (MD)
- Lord Fairfax Community College Police Department
- Shenandoah County Sheriff Office
- Strasburg Police Department
- Warren County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office
- Winchester Commonwealth Attorney’s Office
- Winchester Police Department
- U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia
The training focused on human trafficking offenses, the effects on the community, and how to combat human trafficking including how to effectively set up and run undercover operations.
On Wednesday, May 17, the group set up multiple undercover operations in Winchester under the guidance of the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office unit. The operations were a hands-on training that focused on enforcement of prostitution violations. One aspect focused on arresting offenders soliciting for sex acts and the other on women who were agreeing to perform acts for money. The following individuals were arrested during the operation:
- Muhammed R. Khan, 58, of Round Hill, VA for Solicitation for Prostitution (18.2-346)
- Thomas V. King Jr., 30, of Martinsburg, WV for Solicitation for Prostitution (18.2-346)
- Dreama N. Robey, 31, of Martinsburg, WV for Prostitution (18.2-346)
- Robert F. Puffinberger, 28, of Winchester, VA for Use of an Electronic Device to Solicit a Minor (18.2-374.3) and Indecent Liberties with a Child (18.2-370)
NOTE: Robey and Puffinberger were arrested in Winchester; however, the case agent was from the Frederick County Sheriff Office.