State agents raided the Dallas offices of adult classified ad portal Backpage.com and arrested Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer following allegations that adult and child sex-trafficking victims were forced into prostitution through escort ads posted on the site.
Ferrer, 55, was arrested on a California warrant after arriving Thursday in Houston on a flight from Amsterdam. Authorities also issued warrants for the arrest of the site’s controlling shareholders, Michael Lacey, 68, and James Larkin, 67.
“Making money off the backs of innocent human beings by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris said that Ferrer was arrested on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond and will face an extradition hearing before he can be returned to California.
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