Accused human traffickers stopped in Medford
Two California residents facing human-trafficking charges in Portland allegedly stopped in Medford prior to their arrest in east Portland last week.
Tadario Joseph Battle of Stockton, California, and Tamiqua McNeal of Sacramento each face felony charges of compelling and promoting prostitution in Multnomah County.
Battle and McNeal are accused of driving a 17-year-old girl from Stockton to a Medford hotel last Sunday and placing online prostitution ads for the underage victim in the days leading up to their June 28 arrest in Portland, according to affidavits filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Battle, 21, and McNeal, 26, who is also known as Marika Unique Brown, drove the girl and a 22-year-old prostitute from California to Medford June 25, according to court documents. McNeal allegedly purchased the Medford hotel room and helped the 17-year-old post ads on Backpage.com from the girl's cellphone.
Battle at times took control of the juvenile's phone to arrange appointments in Medford and Portland with men interested in purchasing sex, police said.
Battle had the girl's phone in his possession when he was arrested June 28, the affidavit said. The court document didn't specify the Medford hotel the parties stayed at June 25, though the suspects purchased a room June 26 at a Motel 6 in Portland and at a northeast Portland Econolodge June 27, which was where sexual encounters with the 17-year-old allegedly occurred, according to the affidavit.
Battle is lodged in the Multnomah County Jail on $260,000 bail, jail records show. He's also being held on a fugitive warrant out of Bell County, Texas, charging him with possessing more than 4 ounces of marijuana. His next court appearance is set for July 10.
McNeal was released from the Multnomah County Jail Thursday because of overcrowding. Her next court appearance is set for July 10.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.