Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Adam Thomas Simmons, Jr. on April 20 with conspiracy to commit human trafficking in the first degree and promoting prostitution in the second degree. Investigators say Simmons, Jr., 19, is a member of the Tillicum Park Gangsters street gang and played a key role in the gang’s trafficking operation of underage girls for sex, including one who was only 13 years old.
“Cracking down on human sex trafficking is one of our top priorities, especially when the victims are underage,” said Lindquist. “We appreciate the collaboration with the FBI and the Lakewood Police Department.”
In early August 2016, a Lakewood police sergeant was listening to recorded jail calls made by Matthew Holt, 26, while he was incarcerated in the Nisqually Jail. Holt is the self-proclaimed leader of the Tillicum Park Gangsters. In some of the calls, Holt discussed with other gang members what appeared to be coordination of ongoing prostitution activity using text messages, Backpage.com, and Facebook Messenger.
Last October, working through the South Sound Child Exploitation Task Force and the South Sound Gang Task Force, federal agents and Lakewood Police arrested six gang members. The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged all six.
Simmons, Jr. is a new defendant in that case. Investigators say Simmons, Jr.’s role in the operation included paying for motel rooms for the victim prostitutes, setting up ads for them, and collecting money from the girls after the “dates.”
Investigators gathered information of Simmons, Jr.’s involvement by tracking conversations between himself and Holt.
Bail was set at $500,000.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.