ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
July 5, 2017
Case # 17CF1662
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Minnesota man was arraigned today for human trafficking and attempted pimping of two fictitious minors he met through social media.
Defendant: Nigel Ezekiel Samuels, 25, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Charged today with:
- (2) Human Trafficking of a minor
- (2) Attempted pimping of a minor
- 14 years and eight months in state prison
Pre-trial hearing: July 13, 2017, 8:30 a.m. at Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana
Circumstances of the Case
Samuels is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims.
- On May 22, 2017, the defendant is accused of speaking with members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) who were posing as a 17-year-old girl through social media.
- The defendant is accused of encouraging the fictitious minor and her fictitious 16-year-old friend to work as sex workers, and stating he wanted to become their pimp.
- On June 30, 2017, Samuels is accused of flying from Minnesota to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to pick up the two teens.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), LAX Police, and OCHTTF investigated this case and arrested the defendant at LAX.
Members of the OCHTTF and the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, FBI, Irvine Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and community and non-profit partners.
Deputy District Attorney Brad Schoenleben of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case.
Proposition 35 and HEAT
To read more about California’s anti-human trafficking Proposition 35 and the OCDA’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, please visit www.orangecountyda.org and select Human Trafficking Information from the Media Center drop down menu.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Michelle Van Der Linden,Spokesperson