13 People Charged In Connection With Human Trafficking In South Portland

During the week of April 24, police charged thirteen people in connection with a human trafficking investigation in South Portland.

Several jurisdictions were involved in the operation, which also included “local and federal partners from Cumberland County Human Trafficking Task Force and included South Portland Police Community Response Unit,” according to a press release from the South Portland Police Department.

According to reports, one victim of human trafficking was found and given resources as a result of the inquiry. Among the thirteen guys accused are:

  1. Windham resident Garrin Brady, 41,
  2.  Brunswick resident Ian Hunter, 39
  3.  46-year-old Travis LaBreck from South Portland
  4.  Sanford resident Anthony Deluca, 34
  5.  58-year-old Charleston, Massachusetts, resident James Wagner
  6.  Westbrook resident Yousef Akbari Panbehcholeh, 37
  7.  Portland resident Almuntadhar Mohammed, age 23
  8.  Winslow resident Mark Saul, 54,
  9.  47-year-old Portlander Shane Churchill
  10. . Stratham resident William Edwards, 55,
  11.  53-year-old Jeffery Gagne from Brownfield
  12. . 72-year-old Leon Brilliant of Brunswick
  13. 13. Springvale resident John Bearse, age 21

The release stated that each person was accused of hiring a prostitute. In addition, Panbehcholeh was accused of breaking his release conditions.

According to the authorities, “the problem of human trafficking has no jurisdiction and has been recognized as a national epidemic.”

This operation was especially created to tackle the “supply” and “demand” sides of human trafficking in order to better prevent the continuous exploitation of people who are most affected by this pervasive problem.

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