Crime & Courts
St. Pete woman surrenders to FBI on sex trafficking charges
A St. Petersburg woman accused by federal investigators of being involved in the sex trafficking of two 14-year-old girls surrendered to authorities Friday. Koesha Renee Jones was being held at the federal courthouse in Tampa pending an initial hearing, authorities said. Jones and an unnamed accomplice arranged for the girls to have sex with men for money at various locations in Pinellas County, including the Bayway Inn in St. Petersburg in December and January, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent. One of the girls said she was afraid Jones would kill them if they didn't comply.The first time, at the Bayway Inn, Jones was with the girls when she received a telephone call, the affidavit said. A man arrived and had sex with both girls and with Jones, paying each $100, the affidavit said. Jones kept all the money. This was typical of the arrangements, the affidavit states. Jones and her accomplice would use some of the money to pay for the girls' clothes and food, and to pay for the hotel room when it was used, the affidavit states. The 14-year-olds also posed nude for photographs posted to an online classified website called Backpage, where prostitutes typically are advertised, according to the affidavit.