Accused of sex trafficking at least 7 juvenile victims, Indio suspect nabbed at border checkpoint

Authorities say an Indio man has been arrested as part of an ongoing sex trafficking investigation. At least seven minor victims have been identified so far in connection with the weeks-long investigation, say officials.

The alleged trafficker, since identified as 32-year-old Dewayne Williams, remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail or bond, according to officials.

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On March 4, members of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) began a sex trafficking investigation with alleged crimes that occurred in the cities of Palm Desert, Indio and Desert Hot Springs, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Jose Tijerina said of the arrest.

During their nearly two-month investigation, RCAHT members learned Williams was involved in sex trafficking juveniles and a total of seven young victims were identified, all of which were minors, according to Tijerina.

DeWayne Williams, 32, of Indio, was arrested at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego County as part of a months-long ongoing sex trafficking investigation. Riverside County Sheriff’s Department photo

On April 21, the U.S Marshall Service Pacific South West Fugitive Task Force detained Williams while trying to cross the California – Mexico border at the San Ysidro crossing port in San Diego County.

He was ultimately arrested based on RCAHT’s investigative findings and was later booked into the Central Jail in San Diego County on a total of seven mostly felony charges. His charges included suspicion of sexual battery of a minor, multiple counts of human trafficking of a minor, pandering of minor, lewd acts with a minor, and inducing a minor to consume narcotics (Fentanyl). 

RCAHT used the opportunity to remind parents and legal guardians to monitor their children’s online activity, social media/gaming platforms and who they are communicating with in the different online platforms, and to report any suspected human trafficking activity to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888 or their local law enforcement agency.

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The eastern Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in March 2020 as a multidisciplinary task force that combines the investigative resources of both local and federal law enforcement to address crimes involving the exploitation of victims via force, fraud, or coercion in the eastern half of the Coachella Valley.

These cases often involve the commercial sex trafficking of children, as well as incidents of forced labor, indentured servitude, debt bondage, or slavery.

The RCAHT Task Force also provides victim services and education/outreach through partnerships with the non-profit groups Operation Safe House, Rebirth Homes, and Million Kids.

The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force is asking anyone with additional information to contact RCAHT Task Force Investigator Damen Butvidas at (760) 836-1600 or call anonymously at (760) 341-STOP (7867). Callers can refer to incident file number R220630004 and can remain anonymous.



Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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