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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Couple Arrested in Pomona for Human Trafficking

Pomona police arrested two people Thursday afternoon after they allegedly forced a kidnapped Oklahoma woman into prostitution.

Mark Payton and Tasha McElrafth were arrested by police after the unidentified 21-year-old woman flagged down a patrol car at 10 a.m. Thursday. The woman claimed the couple forced her to prostitute herself in the East Holt corridor, according to a release from the Pomona Police Department.

Mr. Payton and Ms. McElrafth had been staying at the Motel 6 in Claremont, where they kept the woman under constant surveillance and threatened her with a knife.

The woman told police she was from Oklahoma City and was kidnapped in October 2015, taken to California and “sold” to Mr. Payton.

Pomona police tracked down Mr. Payton and Ms. McElrafth at the motel and pulled their car over on Thursday afternoon. The couple was arrested, and a handgun and ammunition were recovered from the car.

Mr. Payton and Ms. McElrafth were charged with human trafficking, kidnapping, pimping/pandering and numerous weapons violations.

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