Police: Two arrested at Medford motel, suspected of sex-trafficking

Officers were looking for a 15-year-old girl from Modesto, California. They found her in a motel room.

Posted: May 14, 2019 2:43 PM
Updated: May 14, 2019 2:49 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — The search for a 15-year-old "runaway" from California led officers with the Medford Police Department (MPD) to make two arrests at a Motel 6, according to a statement from the agency.

Early on the morning of May 10, just after 5 a.m., MPD officers received a report that the 15-year-old girl from Modesto, California was at a local motel. She had been missing from home since April 29.

"The parent of the child reported that she believed her daughter was at the Motel 6 on Biddle Road, and was possibly the victim of sex trafficking," MPD said.

When officers arrived at the Motel 6, they located a room where they thought the girl was staying. Initially, MPD said, the occupants of the room were "uncooperative" and did not want to let the officers inside. But eventually they opened the door, allowing officers to rush in.

Inside, MPD found the missing 15-year-old, an 18-year-old girl, and two adults — the last two identified as 32-year-old Lucious James Roy and 41-year-old Dawniel Santangelo, both from Stockton, California.

"Detectives responded to the scene and conducted a thorough, and on-going investigation. Detectives believe that Roy and Santangelo acted together, as they transported the missing girl from California to Oregon, provided her with marijuana, and engaged her in prostitution," MPD said.

The erstwhile missing girl has been reunited with her family in California, while the non-profit Community Works helped police reunite the 18-year-old girl with her family in California as well.

Roy and Santangelo both have been lodged in jail and charged with Trafficking in Persons, Compelling Prostitution, and Delivery of Marijuana to a Minor. Roy's bail is set at $300,000 and Santangelo's bail is $250,000.

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