Los Angeles: On September 5, 2012, the LAPD, Human Trafficking Unit, in partnership with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (LADA), concluded by way of felony conviction a 13 month investigation into claims of Human Trafficking of Minors.
The two defendants in this matter, Brian Smith of Los Angeles and Lashanay Cohill of Indio, California, were convicted of Pimping/Pandering, Sexual Assault upon a Minor and Human Trafficking. The investigation was as a result of police officers from the LAPD 77th Area Detectives and Southwest Area Detectives, who conducted two separate kidnapping investigations. Investigators from the LAPD Human Trafficking Unit recognized the similarities between the two cases and assumed responsibility for the investigation.
The investigation revealed that on separate occasions Smith and Cohill, working in concert, kidnapped two females under the age of 18 years old. They transported both females to a residence in South Los Angeles. Smith and Cohill trafficked the females for the purposes of prostitution. The kidnapping took place in the city of Mojave, California. The second kidnapping took place in South Los Angeles. Both females were forced by Smith and Cohill to work for them as prostitutes. When the females refused, Smith used a self-made device from an assembled group of wire hangers that he referred to as the “Green Monster” to beat the females on the back, legs and buttocks until they submitted.
On September 5, 2012, both Smith and Cohill were convicted in Los Angeles County Superior Court of Pimping/Pandering, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and Human Trafficking of a Minor.
Anyone with information regarding the crime of Human Trafficking is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Human Trafficking Unit at 213-486-0910. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800) 222-8477. Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.