October 15, 2021

Rankin County arrests woman in human trafficking case

Therese Apel

A Florence woman is behind bars in Rankin County after several agencies teamed up to try to catch her in the act of sex trafficking.

On Wednesday, Rankin County deputies received information of the possible sex trafficking of a 16-year-old female from out of state.

Rankin County Sheriff’s investigators contacted Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s Office, the FBI Crimes Against Children Task Force, District Attorney John “Bubba” Bramlett and Youth Court Judge Tom Broome.

The cooperative investigation resulted in sufficient probable cause for an arrest warrant being issued for the suspect, Irmariz Velazquez, 31, and a search warrant being issued for her residence.

On Thursday, Rankin County Court Judge David Morrow signed the warrants. On this same day Rankin County deputies along with officers from all the involved agencies executed the warrants at the suspect’s residence located on Peggy Drive near Florence.

Velazquez was taken into custody without incident. She was transported to the Rankin County Jail and booked on the charges of human trafficking, promoting prostitution, dissemination of child pornography.

Rankin County Court Judge David Morrow has denied bond.

On Tuesday Velazquez will appear before Bramlett and Morrow for an initial appearance.

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