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Alleged prostitution ring conspirator charged with human trafficking

One of three men accused of running a prostitution ring in Hemet and other locations involving women and teenage girls pleaded not guilty today to human trafficking and other offenses.

Daniel Lee Simpson, 18, of Hemet was arrested last week during an investigation by the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force.

Along with two counts of human trafficking, Simpson is charged with felony pandering. He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Sept. 14 at the Banning Justice Center.

The defendant is being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.

His co-defendants, 23-year-old Marvonte Deon Dolberry and 24-year-old Rodrick Rozel Morris, both of Hemet, are also being held at the Murrieta jail –Dolberry in lieu of $155,000 bail, Morris in lieu of $2 million.

Dolberry is charged with two counts of pimping, as well as one count each of statutory rape, inducing a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, procuring a minor for prostitution and oral copulation of a child under 16 years old.

Morris is charged with two counts of human trafficking and one count each of pimping and pandering.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. John Sawyer, task force investigators, who include deputies and law enforcement officers from multiple municipalities, arrested Dolberry in January after a 15-year-old runaway girl and her 18-year-old friend, neither of whom were identified, were caught performing a sex act on a 30-year-old motorist in his vehicle near San Jacinto.

The ensuing investigation led to a motel in the 800 block of Florida Avenue in Hemet, where Dolberry was taken into custody after being questioned, according to Sawyer.

He said that over the next eight months, a total of 14 females — 10 of them under 18 years old — were identified as sex trafficking victims allegedly put to work by the defendants. In addition to the Hemet area, they were providing sexual services in parts of Orange and San Diego counties, investigators alleged.

Morris and Simpson were subsequently connected to the operation and arrested on Aug. 12 and Aug. 30, respectively, according to jail records.

None of the defendants have documented prior felony convictions.

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