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SC Couple And 3 Others Federally Indicted On Child Pornography Production and Sex Trafficking Charges

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Five people from Anderson County, South Carolina were federally indicted for multiple child sex crimes, United States Attorney for South Carolina Peter McCoy announced Thursday.

Anderson County, South Carolina residents Gary Garland, Shannon Garland, Johnnie Wells, Michael Skelton, and Duwone Allen were all arrested this week and charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor and production of child pornography.

“The ten-count indictment alleges human trafficking and child pornography violations against the Defendants beginning last year in South Carolina,” the news release said.

The five Anderson County defendants “would advertise and transport at least two minors for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts, and the Garlands would produce visual depictions of the minors,” according to the indictment and news release.

“Child sex trafficking is one of the most offensive and reprehensible crimes possible,” McCoy said in the release. “Sadly, many of the victims and offenders are hidden in plain sight.”

The federal charges will be prosecuted by McCoy’s office, which has recently ramped up its efforts to crack down on victim-related crimes, including child trafficking.

“With support from our federal, state, and local partners, this office will find those who engage in all forms of human trafficking and bring them to justice,” McCoy said. “This includes those who patronize these victims. We will also continue to work with support groups here in our community to ensure these victims receive the services they need.”

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, are all investigating the case.

 “These are heinous allegations, and this case would not have been possible without the coordinated efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement departments,” U.S. Marshal Thomas M. Griffin said.

Below is a copy of the indictment in the case:

Garland

“U.S. Attorney McCoy stated that all charges in this case are merely allegations at this stage and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” the release said.

Assistant United States Attorneys Carrie Fisher Sherard and Winston Marosek, both of the Greenville office, will prosecute this case.

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