By Abby Reed
MIDLAND - Two people from Lubbock are accused of forcing a teenager to have sex with strangers in exchange for money. 40-year-old Jay Lloyd and 19-year-old Taquolia Thomas were arrested on Friday during an undercover sting operation.
Investigators say Lloyd and Thomas used the Internet to lure men to a hotel room, where they pimped a 17-year-old girl. Investigators first learned about the underage prostitution operation through the website, www.backpage.com. It was there, they discovered an ad promising "erotic fun" by a "20-year-old" named "Ms. Lacey." However, according to the Midland County Sheriff's department Ms. Lacey was using a fake name and was actually only 17 years old.
"She was compelled into the service of prostitution, and she was brought to Midland for the specific purpose of prostitution," Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter, said.
According to affidavit, the teen says Lloyd and Thomas forced her to charge $200 for sex and threatened her life if she didn't. The teen told investigators she was given a condom and told to do whatever her clients asked of her.
NewsWest 9 found Lloyd's Facebook page, where he appears to be recruiting would-be escorts to join his company. He and Thomas both face charges with human trafficking and compelling prostitution, which means they could see life in prison, if convicted.
"When we start stacking all the federal charges, wire transfers and phones, there's going to be other charges, so hopefully, he will never get out of the penitentiary," Painter said.
Sheriff Painter tells NewsWest 9 his department has uncovered other items of interest that could lead to more arrests.
"We have books, we have records, we have phone numbers of people they made deals with, there's going to be a continuing operation on writing these numbers down and finding these other people who are involved in it to see what else is going on," Painter said.
Both Lloyd and Thomas remain in jail with $250,000 bonds for each charge.