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      Suspects in Utica sex trafficking ring now face federal charges

      Edward Tilden
      Three people accused of having involvement in a sex trafficking ring involving a minor in Central New York now face federal charges. A lengthy complaint filed in federal court details how the group referred to new girls as 'fresh meat'. It also documents the integration of drugs like crack cocaine as part of the exchange of cash and sex between prostitutes, pimps and customers.

      Siblings Lynette Tilden and Edward Tilden and another woman, Alexandria Davall, all from Utica, appeared in Federal Court in Syracuse on Wednesday.

      United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced that they were arrested by the FBI and charged by a federal felony complaint with three federal charges.

      They are each charged with sex trafficking of a child, persuading and inducing a child to engage in prostitution, and distribution of heroin and cocaine to a minor. Two of the charges carry penalties for 10 years to life in prison if convicted.

      The suspects are accused of selling a minor to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for money and drugs.

      The U.S. Attorney??s office says the prostitution ring used the website backpage.com and a texting network to advertise the prostitution business.

      In addition to the three defendants named above and being charged with federal crimes, the Oneida County District Attorney has charged several other defendants with state crimes in connection to this overall joint investigation.

      The U.S. Attorney??s office says the investigation is continuing.