Authorities Monday morning arrested two dozen suspects allegedly involved in a sex trafficking ring with connections between Nashville and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The arrests followed a 24-count federal indictment naming 29 individuals, believed to be associated with three connected Minneapolis gangs: the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia and the Lady Outlaws.
The indictment charges that between 2000 and 2010, gang members transported underage Somali and African-American girls (one as young as 12 years old) for commercial sex acts between Minneapolis, Nashville, Seattle and Columbus, Ohio, among other cities.
The indictment also lists charges of conspiracy, perjury, obstruction of justice, auto theft and credit card fraud.
As of about midday Monday, about 25 of the suspects were in custody, though arrests, as well as the investigation, are ongoing. Those in custody are expected to have initial court appearances as early as Monday afternoon.
The investigation began in 2008 and included Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Metro Nashville Police Department and the St. Paul Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Van Vincent is prosecuting the case.
“Trafficking children for sex is intolerable and the Department of Justice will aggressively enforce trafficking and other laws to eliminate these types of deplorable acts,” said Jerry Martin, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
According to the indictment, in December 2005 gang members took Jane Doe One, a Somali girl who was 13 at the time, from the Minneapolis area to an apartment at 964 Village Hills Drive, rented by Fadumo Mohamed Farah, near Nashboro Village in southeast Nashville.
There, Farah (a.k.a. “Gangster Boo” or “Barnie”) along with Abdifatah Bashir Jama (a.k.a. “Cash Money” or “Ohio”) and Mohamed Sharif Omar (a.k.a. “Moe D” or “Mojo”) allegedly forced Jane Doe One and other juvenile girls to engage in commercial sex acts.
In November 2006, gangsters in Minnesota allegedly lured a 12-year-old Somali girl into having sex with the ultimate goal of using her for prostitution. Several members of the gang had sex with the girl over the next several months before Jane Doe Two was used in “missions” wherein she was expected to have sex with men who paid with money or, in some cases, marijuana and alcohol.
The activity allegedly happened through April 2009 when the gang members used Jane Doe Two to raise money for a trip to Nashville. Later that month, according to police, gang members brought the girl to Nashville to sell her for sex, allegedly video recording sex acts with her on the drive to Nashville.
Once here, Haji Osman Salad, Abdullahi Sade Afyare, Abdikarim Osman Ali, Andrew Kayachith and Yassin Abdirahman Yusuf allegedly checked into the Rodeway Inn at 893 Murfreesboro Pike in southeast Nashville along with Jane Doe Two.
Metro police arrested Afyare, Ali, Kayachith and Yusuf during a traffic stop for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, since Jane Doe Two had been reported as a runaway.
The indictment alleged that others associated with the gangs enticed an African-American girl, Jane Doe Three, 15 at the time, to come to Nashville in early February 2008 to engage in sex for money. Hamdi Ali Osman (a.k.a. “Boss Lady”) allegedly told the girl she would give her food and a place to stay in exchange for her engaging in commercial sex acts.
A fourth Jane Doe was allegedly sexually assaulted by several of the men indicted. And all four girls, along with other juvenile girls, were used for commercial sex acts since 2000.
Gang members and associates allegedly stole a Cadillac Escalade from Bonnameade Drive in Nashville. The suspects are also accused of making counterfeit credit cards using a magnetic strip reader/writer as well as interfering with investigators and lying to a grand jury.