Sex Trafficking Suspects Arrested in Phoenix
Four men were arrested and pled guilty in an alleged sex slave operation in Phoenix, according to reports. Charles Bunnell, Steve Currence, Edward Kandl and Edward Stevens were given sentences ranging from 60 months to 108 months for their roles in keeping prisoners in their homes for sexual gratification. All the men but Bunnell were in their 60s, and only Bunnell had any significant criminal history prior to the sting operation that resulted in their arrest. The defendants apparently outfitted their homes with devices to confine and subdue their victims, including chains, soundproof rooms and blacked-out windows. FBI agents set up a fake sex-slave auction that attracted men from across the country to Phoenix, where they believed women were being held for sale. Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa and Scottsdale police departments participated in the sting operation.
Building a Defense to Sex Trafficking
Because of the nature of the crime, someone accused of sex trafficking often enters the courtroom with many people presuming that he or she is guilty. In the case of the sting operation, some criminal defense attorneys have stated that they believe the agents may have entrapped those who are ultimately arrested for their crimes. Entrapment occurs when a police officer baits or tempts someone to commit a crime that he or she otherwise would not have committed. When the officer creates every element or condition necessary for the defendant to commit the crime, entrapment may result. However, it is not easy to prove an entrapment defense. In 1932, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that in order to prove entrapment, the defendant must be able to show that he or she was not already predisposed to commit the crime without police interference, and that the police were the only reason the person chose to commit the crime. Because it is so difficult to prove this, many people are unable to use entrapment as a defense. If you have been accused of a crime, it is very important that you have legal representation to protect your rights and help you decide on the right defense. The criminal defense attorneys at the Oswalt Law Group in Phoenix are ready to help. Our experienced defense lawyers understand the criminal justice system in Arizona and can help you address any type of criminal charge, no matter how serious. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you with your criminal case.