Human trafficking in Montana has been traced back to a Washington man, accused in a federal investigation. 23-year-old Andrew Anthony Rivera of Tacoma was charged and released after an initial court appearance on Wednesday in Yakima.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Dimke denied a prosecution motion to detain Rivera and released him– on condition of electronic monitoring and home detention– pending a Feb. 2 hearing in Billings.

 

Rivera appeared for an initial hearing on the Montana charges Wednesday.  The indictment charges Rivera with sex trafficking by force and transportation of a person with intent to engage in sexual activity.  Sex trafficking carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.  The indictment alleges that in 2014, Rivera forced a person to engage in commercial sex and that in April 2016, he transported another from Washington to Montana for similar purposes.