Completed port of entry at San Ysidro
The San Ysidro Port of Entry. Courtesy of City of San Diego.

A 32-year-old man arrested at the border after being accused of putting girls to work in the sex trades has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges.

Dewayne Deanthony Williams was arrested on April 21 after an arrest warrant was served on him at the San Ysidro crossing.

His arrest followed an investigation by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force that began March 4

Williams, from Indio, is charged with three counts of inducing minors to work in sex-for-hire operations and one count each of human trafficking, lewd acts on a child, procuring a person for the purpose of prostitution and sexual battery.

He was arraigned before Riverside Superior Court Judge Dale Wells, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for May 9 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

He also ordered that the defendant be held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. Williams’ bail was previously set at $1 million.

According to sheriff’s officials, the defendant allegedly compelled girls to perform the illicit services in Indio, Desert Hot Springs and Palm Desert.

Officials did not disclose the victims’ identities in court documents or any details regarding how Williams originally came into contact with them.

The suspect has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.

– City News Service