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A California jury on Monday found Kendall McDaniel guilty of human trafficking after a detective posed as a 16-year-old girl in an effort to gather evidence of his criminal activity.
Between Dec. 6 and 9, McDaniel recruited the undercover cop posing as a minor on social media to participate in prostitution for him, unaware that she was part of a task force with the Bakersfield Police Department investigating local human traffickers, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.
“Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world,” Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said in a Monday statement. “We urge all parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children, as this case is a reminder that human trafficking is in fact prevalent in our community.”
McDaniel used social media to try to recruit the undercover cop as a prostitute.
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Kendall McDaniel has been found guilty of human trafficking after a detective posed as a 16-year-old girl on social media. (Kern County DA)
“[I]]f you trap ryte I’ll have u in a spot and a whip,” McDaniel wrote in one social media message to the cop, meaning that if she prostituted for him, he’d get her a place to live and a car.
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The decoy prostitute set up a meeting with McDaniel at a bus stop, at which point Bakersfield detectives apprehended him.
The undercover Bakersfield Police Department detective posing as a prostitute set up a meeting with McDaniel at a bus stop, at which point Bakersfield detectives apprehended him. (Google Maps)
Cellphone data and social media evidence obtained by investigators revealed that McDaniel was receiving money from other victims of human trafficking, according to the DA’s office.
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McDaniel is due in court for his sentencing on Sept. 26 and faces up to 24 years in prison for trafficking a minor.
“McDaniel deserves the maximum sentence permitted by the law to ensure that no more innocent children become victim of this horrendous crime,” Zimmer said.
Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter at @audpants.