Despite his arrest during a police operation targeting human trafficking on 23rd Street earlier this year, a suspected Richmond pimp continued to run his business while behind bars — with help from a 22-year-old woman who managed daily activities and booked “dates,” police announced Tuesday.
Andrew Winters, 35, and “business manager” Zanae Jones, 22, are facing charges in connection with a disturbing illegal enterprise involving multiple young human trafficking victims, including a 17-year-old girl, police said.
Back on Jan. 31, Winters was arrested during a human trafficking police operation on 23rd. About 10 p.m. that night, police trailed a car that the 17-year-old girl had entered, leading them to the Economy Inn motel on San Pablo Avenue. Officers contacted both parties and quickly stopped the 17-year-old after she tried to run. The man she was with admitted to being a customer headed to a specific motel room.
In that room, police found and arrested Winters, who had been on parole for pimping. The teenager was taken to the West County Family Justice Center to receive care.
The investigation continued — but so did Winters’ pimping, according to police.
“The officer kept digging further into the illegal enterprise and discovered that Winters continued to run the business while he was behind bars,” police said. “Not only that, the same 17 year old victim was still being trafficked.”
With collaboration between the BRAVO officers, detectives from RPD’s Domestic & Sexual Violence Unit (DSVU) and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, arrest warrants were obtained and Winters and Jones were arrested for human trafficking violations. They remain in custody awaiting trial. The 17-year-old girl was again taken into protective custody and offered resources by the advocates.
The problem of 23rd Street human trafficking has become a focal point for police and the community. Tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., law enforcement will join local residents at a community forum to discuss the issue at Veterans Memorial Hall, 968 23rd St.
Police are asking the community to report any suspected human trafficking incidents by calling 911 or RPD at (510) 233-1214.