Pimp of murdered prostitute may be involved in crime ring

Mark Miles

Last Year, Mark Miles spoke with KHON2 during a vigil for Ivy Harris — a Portland, Ore. woman who was found murdered near Yokohama Bay.

On Monday, he was in federal custody, charged in connection with transporting Harris to Hawaii to work as a prostitute.

Marine Master Sgt. Nathaniel Cosby is accused of killing her in his hotel room.

“Unfortunately, when we got to Ivy, she had already been murdered by one of her Johns, but we knew the entire time she was a victim of trafficking as well,” said Kathryn Xian, Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery. “These victims are always misidentified. Their pimps are referred to as boyfriends and no one investigates further.”

This time the FBI did, as part of “Operation Traffic Stop”.

When Harris disappeared last May, her friends and family said Miles was her boyfriend.

A federal indictment unsealed on Monday says he was her pimp, taking her to Hawaii several times to make money off of her.

“Until now, successful pimps reaped all the rewards with none of the risk, while the girls and young women they manipulated faced a life of violence and abuse,” said Kevin Rickett, Acting Special Agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon.

“Hawaii sees hundreds of women and girls come through its state line, also the ones trafficked here locally,” Xian said.

But Miles was not acting alone. Seven other Portland-area pimps, including Steven Huffman, and Michael Willis, Jr., were also charged with transporting young women for prostitution.

They sent women all over the country to have sex with strangers for money including Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, and Minnesota.

“Most often these traffickers work as a crew as a group. It becomes organized crime at that point, but they work together in a network to facilitate their trafficking endeavors,” Xian said.

Two more suspects are also charged with sex trafficking of a minor, but have not yet been arrested and those indictments remain sealed.

Miles faces multiple crimes that combine carry a sentence of 15 years in prison.

On Tuesday, a judge will decide whether he will be released before a trial in April.

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