Authorities in Pennsylvania have pressed charges against an individual from Ohio for trafficking two women and a teenager, following an investigation spanning almost five months. Several agencies from different states collaborated on the case, which ultimately led to a breakthrough at the Rodeway Inn located in Monroeville.
The man’s arrest is now being sought through a warrant.
A Rodeway Inn hotel is located on Mosside Blvd. in Monroeville, where investigators were keeping an eye on Donte Cole, a man from Euclid, Ohio, as per court records.
After a thorough investigation carried out by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and Homeland Security Investigations, the 38-year-old is now facing various charges, including eight counts of trafficking in individuals and six counts of involuntary servitude.
Detectives paid a visit to two women and a 16-year-old on May 9 through a “knock and talk” approach.
During the investigation, one victim opened up about their experience with Cole and shared that they were threatened by him. According to the victim, Cole made the statement, “‘ya’ll try to leave, there will be consequences'” when asked about abuse.
The teenager was briefly encountered by law enforcement in Monroeville, but she refused to engage in conversation with them.
After dedicating several months to the investigation, authorities analyzed a variety of sources such as text messages, cell phone records, social media, and CashApp data. It was during this extensive review that they discovered Cole had posted advertisements in numerous cities, such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and Chicago.
The Ohio Attorney General Intelligence stumbled upon an advertisement for the teenager involved in the Monroeville incident in May on October 5th.
As per the court records, the teenager was contacted by an undercover agent, and she gave her consent to engaging in a sexual act. During the meeting with the agents, the teenager affirmed that she was aware of Cole’s identity.
After being taken to the hospital, a caseworker was able to bring her to her father’s home.
The authorities have not apprehended Cole as of yet.
At this time, KDKA has not received a response from the management of the local motel after reaching out to them for comment.
According to a spokesperson from Choice Hotels, the owner and operator of the franchised location of Rodeway Inn are independent.
When asked about the incident, they declined to comment and redirected KDKA to the authorities for further information regarding the investigation.
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