ORLANDO, Fla. – Police with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation announced on Wednesday the arrests of two women and a man who are accused of trafficking at least three teens for sex acts at several hotels in Orlando.
Officers arrested Tracy Koger, 34, and Tyrell San Juan Ponds, 46, in January and both are locked up in Orange County. Shana Marie Lee Bryant, 36, was arrested in December 2021 in Seminole County.
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“They would offer (the victims) places to stay — offered to take care of them,” Ron Stucker, director of the MBI said during a news conference Wednesday. “Of course, once they had control over them, then what would happen is they would begin to exploit them and manipulate them.”
The investigation into the trio began in July 2021 when a 15-year-old runaway turned up at Dr. Phillips Hospital saying she had been battered, according to a news release. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office turned the case over to the MBI when it was revealed she was a victim of human trafficking.
“(The deputy) realized there was so much more going on here than just the (battery) and that’s kind of an important part,” Stucker said. This time it was the deputy who went, but sometimes people will encounter a victim and they don’t come forward and say ‘Hi, I’m a victim of human trafficking.’ They’re coming forward saying ‘I’m a runaway,’ ‘I’m lost,’ ‘I’ve been battered’ or ‘I have a problem’ — and we don’t ask the general public to try to discern Florida Statutes, but if the general public — a parent or teacher or someone — sees something and it just doesn’t look right, they just need to call their local law enforcement agency.”
According to the release, the women would target vulnerable children — runaways or those in foster care — inviting them to stay in a hotel room with the promise of taking care of them. Officers said Ponds would supply the women and the victims with drugs, transportation and also forced himself on at least one of the victims.
Investigators said Koger and Bryant engage in commercial sex themselves but had also lured at least three teens into engaging in similar acts. Police said the victims range in age from 15 to 16 years old.
“Sometimes, I think in our mind we think about the pimp being a male and the victim being a female and that is not always the case,” Stucker said. “In this case, the two females were the ones who are really orchestrating this entire thing.”
MBI said the women would force the victims to consume alcohol or drugs when they would refuse to engage in sex acts with men. On at least one occasion, Koger held a hotel door shut when one of the victims tried to leave, according to investigators.
Officers said the Koger, Bryant and Ponds were known to frequent at least four hotels in the Orlando area:
- Quality Inn at 3956 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando
- Motel 6 at 5300 Adanson St., Orlando
- Budget Inn at3600 W Colonial Drive, Orlando
- Quality Inn and Suites at 8300 Jamaican Court, Orlando
Police believe there may be more victims involved in this human trafficking case. Stucker said investigators are also working to identify the men who may have paid to force themselves on the victims. He added those men would also face human trafficking charges if caught.
If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault, violent crime or human trafficking, the Victim Service Center of Central Florida has a 24-hour helpline available at 407-500-4325.