Friday, September 30, 2011

ICE 'most wanted' fugitive indicted for human trafficking

TAMPA, Fla. – A former fugitive on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) list of most wanted criminals was indicted Thursday on four counts of conspiracy to entice a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, four counts of enticing a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, three counts of production of child pornography, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Eric Antwan Bell, 37, was featured in June on the television show "America's Most Wanted." He was arrested Aug. 31 in Parsippany, N.J. by ICE HSI and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

According to the indictment, Bell, along with a co-conspirator, enticed four minor victims to engage in prostitution. Bell and his co-conspirator lived off of the prostitution proceeds. Bell produced child pornography of the four minors and possessed multiple firearms after being convicted of a felony offense.
The indictment notifies Bell that the United States intends to forfeit numerous items of electronic media and firearms seized from his residence.

This case was investigated by the Clearwater Area Human Trafficking Task Force, ICE HSI and the FBI. Other task force members include state and local law enforcement agencies and non-governmental partners.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacie B. Harris will prosecute the case.

You may also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, or access this news release on your mobile device.