Huntsville man, child’s father indicted on federal child sex-trafficking charges
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal grand jury has indicted a Huntsville man and a Honduran man on sex-trafficking charges involving a minor in Madison County. This is a story WHNT News 19 has been reporting on since we first learned about the incident in early November.
Billy R. Edwards and Darwin Moises Amador-Zepeda are charged with commercial sex trafficking, coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in prostitution and sexual exploitation of a child. Edwards also faces additional charges of producing child pornography and being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.
“Sex trafficking and the exploitation of children are among the most heinous acts that too often prey on the youngest and most vulnerable members of our community,” U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town said. “Our Human Trafficking Task Force will continue bringing to justice the persons who facilitate these horrific crimes.”
“Sex trafficking of a minor is one of the most reprehensible criminal offenses imaginable,” ICE Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. said. “Along with law enforcement partners like the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, HSI will continue seeking out the facilitators and perpetrators of these heinous crimes to ensure they are brought to justice.”
HSI arrested Edwards Oct. 30 on a criminal complaint charging that he paid Amador-Zepeda more than $20,000 over several years to have sexual relations with a boy who was 16 years old when Amador forced him into the ongoing sexual relationship with Edwards.
According to the indictments, Edwards and Amador-Zepeda both trafficked “Minor Child 1” between December 2014 and January 2017, knowing that the child would be forced or coerced into commercial sex acts. During that time, the two men used cell phones and bank accounts to induce or coerce the child to engage in prostitution, and used a cell phone to induce or coerce the child to engage in sexually explicit conduct in order to photograph the conduct, according to the charges.