Thanks to testimony of several women, and pages and pages of evidence, a 36-year-old Franklin County gang leader is possibly facing up to 33 years in prison.

In a story that reads right out of Criminal Minds,  Lance Horntvedt, the suspect, had been under a two-year surveillance and investigation into allegations he ran a five-state sex trafficking and possibly drug ring. Some of the allegations against him range clear back to 2012.

He came under surveillance after a 2017 prostitution raid that netted a number of suspects. However, one of the women told authorities about her forced involvement in a sex trafficking ring led by Horntvedt that spread across five states, including Utah and as far as Arizona.

As authorities continued to dig, they found enough evidence to fill hundreds of court documents, about women who were 'brought into' the ring, then drugs and abuse were used to keep them there. Many of the women were already close to or dabbling in prostitution or illegal activity to support drug habits or themselves.

Authorities learned that while the suspect was in the Walla Walla County jail in 2017 on other charges, he was reportedly operating his ring from inside the jail via phone calls.  A long list of abuses, threats and other charges are being levied against him.

If Horntvedt winds up facing all the potential charges in court and is convicted, he could be facing anywhere from 24-33 years in prison. He could face even more due to possibly extenuating circumstances.

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