Dover – The Delaware State Police, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Wilmington office), and the Delaware Department of Justice have arrested five people in connection with a human trafficking case, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Gary Fournier.
Fournier said this investigation began on May 8, 2017 when the Troop 3 Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) was contacted by the foster parent of a juvenile who had been reported missing on March 27, 2017. The foster parent advised that the 16-year-old female may be prostituting via the website www.backpage.com. Detectives located a listing on the webpage that displayed photographs appearing to be the missing teen and were able to confirm her identity through the foster parent. Investigators conducted a search of law enforcement records for the phone number listed and were able to link it to Jason Haith, 18 of Dover and his girlfriend, Jessica A. Hutkin, 34 of Smyrna, according to Fournier.
On Friday May 19, 2017, a joint operation coordinated by Troop 3 CIU, FBI Wilmington, and the Delaware Department of Justice was initiated. Investigators called the phone number listed and arranged a meeting for sexual favors in exchange for compensation at a south Dover motel, said Fournier. At approximately 1:40 p.m. that afternoon, a white 2017 Hyundai Sonata, bearing New York registration, pulled into the motel and the 16-year-old victim was seen exiting the vehicle. After the teen exited the vehicle, it departed and troopers conducting a traffic stop on the car. The driver, Jason Haith, and two passengers, Jessica Hutkin and Austin White, 19 of Smyrna, were taken into custody without incident. A computer inquiry revealed the Hyundai Sonata was reported stolen out of Philadelphia on April 6, 2017, according to Fournier.
Further investigation revealed that Haith, Hutkin, and White, along with two other subjects, Donnell Singletary, 32 of Dover, and Taliesha Haith, 34 of Dover, that were taken into custody at Jason Haith’s residence in the 1000 block of East Lebanon Road, allowed each other to utilize their cellular telephones to make cellular calls, send text messages, and/or connect to the internet to arrange prostitution activities for the 16-year-old victim and another 17-year-old victim who was also advertised on http://www.backpage.com, said Fournier. Information also suggested that the prostitution activities were coordinated out of the Haith residence located at the East Lebanon Road address, added Fournier.
Jason Haith and Jessica Hutkin were both charged with Human Trafficking – Sexual Servitude, Promoting Prostitution 2nd, Receiving Stolen Property, and Conspiracy 2nd. They were arraigned at JP7 and remanded to the custody of the Delaware Department of Correction on $34,000.00 secured bond.
Taliesha Haith, Donnell Singletary, and Austin White were all charged with Human Trafficking – Sexual Servitude, Promoting Prostitution 2nd, and Conspiracy 2nd. They were all arraigned at JP7 and remanded to the custody of the Delaware Department of Correction on $32,000.00 secured bond.
Because of the sensitivity of this case, and in consideration of the victims, only limited information was released by police. Both victims have been placed in the safety of the Division of Family Services.