Twenty-year-old Kerry Andrell Lewis of Fayetteville, North Carolina was taken into custody in Myrtle Beach on Thursday where he has been charged with human trafficking and assigning prostitution after police say the family of a young girl, reported missing in North Carolina, saw a social media site advertising the girl for prostitution in Myrtle Beach. The girl has since been reunited with her family. Remarkably, Lewis’ total bond amount is only $15,761.
Thirty-seven-year-old Julius La Rose Riley of Homestead was charged with human trafficking and lying to police. He was locked up on total bonds of $15,464, but bonded out late Saturday afternoon.
People involved in the sale of other human beings generally make lots of money. Depending on the source, human trafficking is estimated to be a 32 – 150 billion dollar a year industry. I tend to believe the higher numbers are more accurate. One ex-pimp testified in a court proceeding that one girl could “easily” bring in over $100,000 a year.
Bail for human traffickers ought to be much higher than $15,000. Every trafficker is a flight risk. And every trafficking case involves someone being held against his or her will. More importantly, though, is that one of the factors to be considered in determining bail is protecting the community from danger from the criminal defendant. It is highly unlikely that a trafficker will be sitting at home twiddling his thumbs while he waits for a hearing– if he waits for a hearing at all.
Perhaps if we were more serious about treating and punishing human traffickers, they might get the message that trafficking in human beings will not be tolerated.