Man accused of trafficking Memphis runaway for sex

Dameetri Hester

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 26-year-old man was arrested after being accused of trafficking a Memphis metro runaway for sex.

On January 10, FBI agents in Memphis received information that a teen girl had run away from a treatment facility in the local area. Fearing she could have become the victim of sex trafficking, agents began searching known prostitution websites and located the teen’s picture along with an ad.

Agents called the number on the ad and confirmed someone was using it to negotiate prices for sex.

Several days later, officers from the FBI, Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office went tot he Garden Inn and Suites located in the 3400 block of American Way. They showed the girl’s picture to staff members who recognized her as being one of their guests. They then led authorities straight to the second floor room.

Standing outside, officers said they called the phone number listed in the online ad, and heard another phone ringing inside the same room. Several moments later they saw a man they later identified as Dameetri Hester exit the room.

They detained Hester and found the 16-year-old inside the room.

The girl told investigators she had been living and sleeping with Hester for three weeks. During that time she was told that she would have to prostitute herself in order for them to live. When she told him she didn’t want to prostitute anymore, she said he hit her in the head.

She said Hester also bought her food, a Taser and two cellphones. One of them was the number listed in the ad.

Hester reportedly had $1,500 in cash, marijuana, and a gun in his possession when arrested.  He was charged with statutory rape, possession of a controlled substance and trafficking for commercial sex.

At this time, the teen will not be identified by WREG since she is a victim and a minor.

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