A Hanford man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday in a human trafficking ring that involved six others in Tulare and Kings counties.
Judge Kathryn Montejano sentenced Bryan Walker, age 21, of Hanford, to 20 years in state prison for sex trafficking. He must also register as a sex offender for life.
Walker previously pleaded no contest on June 26, to five felony counts of human trafficking of a minor and one count of felony pimping of a minor. He also admitted a special allegation that the trafficking was done for the benefit of a criminal street gang. Walker was one of seven defendants charged with the human trafficking ring.
Six of the defendants were charged in Tulare County and one was prosecuted by Kings County. Three of seven have been sentenced. Andre Stitt was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison and Jelinajiane Almario was sentenced in Kings County to 13 years in prison. Four more suspects are in the process of being prosecuted.
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Last year, Porterville police arrested Walker for trafficking a 17-year-old girl. He posted on the internet advertisements that included photos of the girl, prosecutors said.
Following his arrest, the FBI, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations and Hanford police obtained more than a dozen search warrants and discovered Walker was working with gang members in Hanford.
In April and May last year, they would drive girls from Hanford to Visalia and trafficked them at motels in Tulare County. Eight minors and one adult victim were identified.