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Redwood City Police Department
Monday August 27th, 2018 :: 09:48 a.m. PDT

Community

Human Trafficking, Pimping, Pandering, Robbery, Extortion, Domestic Violence Suspect Arrested

Suspect: Devone RICHARDSON (28) (in custody)

On 08-18-18 Redwood City Police Department Patrol units responded to an in progress domestic violence call in the downtown area. The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival. The victim, a 26 year old female, initially denied any domestic violence involvement in the reported disturbance. Officers sensed uneasiness in the victim’s statement and out of a concern for her overall well-being offered her temporary shelter. She accepted and officers transported her to the local First Chance facility to give her a place to rest and ensure her safety for the evening. Suspecting that there may be more to the story, officers collaborated with First Chance personnel to ensure they understood the circumstances of the victim’s situation and asked the police department be called if the victim decided she desired more law enforcement assistance.

Later that evening, the victim told First Chance staff she had been forced into prostitution and beaten by a person she referred to as her pimp. A Redwood City Patrol Officer responded to First Chance and initiated a detailed interview of her circumstances. Utilizing skills obtained in Critical Incident Training (CIT), the Officer was able to establish a rapport with the victim that resulted in the victim disclosing more information about how she was forced into an unwilling life of prostitution. The victim identified her keeper and handler as Devone RICHARDSON (28).

Redwood City Police Department Street Crime Suppression Team Detectives responded to take over the investigation and begin the search for RICHARDSON. Human Trafficking is a major focus for that team of detectives. Sergeant Lee, a Redwood City Patrol Sergeant who is considered an expert in the field of human trafficking, and has extensive experience with human trafficking investigations, also responded to assist. A victim advocate who specializes in Human Trafficking victims was also contacted and agreed to sit in on police interviews to help the victim through this trying experience.

The victim confided she had been working as a prostitute for about a month for RICHARDSON. As a means of control and enslavement, RICHARDSON kept all of her money, her cell phone, purse with her identification, and denied her food and made her sleep in his car. According to details provided in the interview, the victim indicated RICHARDSON had a wide outreach of clients and made her work as a prostitute in different cities throughout the Bay Area. He threatened to send nude pictures to the victim’s parents if she did not continue working for him. On the night she was contacted in Redwood City, RICHARDSON beat her and stole all of her personal belongings.

Redwood City officers and detectives collaborated with San Mateo County Human Trafficking Program Coordinator John Vanek and Human Trafficking Advocate Pam Estes to get the victim further assistance for long term housing, as well as funding for food and incidentals.

Street Crime Suppression Team Detectives authored an arrest warrant for the suspect that was issued with a bail amount of $500,000. Detectives reached out to law enforcement agencies in areas where the suspect was known to frequent. Detectives used multiple investigative techniques and databases to cast a wide net throughout the state to ensure the suspect would be caught.

On 08-24-18 officers from the Merced Police Department stopped the suspect in their city after receiving a hit on their Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) from the information Redwood City Police entered into the criminal wanted person data base. Street Crime Suppression Team Detectives responded to Merced and took custody of Richardson and transported him to Redwood City. He was interviewed and booked into the San Mateo County Jail for Human Trafficking, Pimping, Pandering, Robbery, Domestic Violence, Extortion and Assault.

The Redwood City Police Department and the Human Trafficking Initiative have stayed in constant contact with the victim throughout the ordeal to make sure she is safe and that all of her needs are met.

The collaborative efforts of different units within the Redwood City Police Department, First Chance and Palm Avenue facilities, the San Mateo County Human Trafficking Initiative and the Merced Police Department resulted in a successful resolution to this case.

If anyone has any questions regarding Human Trafficking in San Mateo County or elsewhere please send an email to stophumantrafficking@smcgov.org.

If you have additional information or evidence regarding this particular case, please contact Detective Sergeant Nick Perna at NPerna@redwoodcity.org.

Persons with information about this case or any other case who wish to remain anonymous may leave messages at 1-800-222-TIPS, or send the information online at www.BayareaCrimestoppers.org.

Address/Location
Redwood City Police Department
1301 Maple St
Redwood City, CA 94063

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-780-7100

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