Teen brothers accused of running underage prostitution ring

By Jeff Humphrey KXLY4 

Teen brothers accused of running underage prostitution ring
Dionte Hunter. Photo: KXLY

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane police have arrested two teenage brothers for promoting the prostitution of underage girls.

Detectives say one of them actually ran the prostitution ring while he was locked up in the juvenile detention center on a unrelated felony. The teen girls, some as young as 14, were forced to work as prostitutes and those who didn't perform were ripped off or assaulted.

This investigation got its start in February after Thaishaun Hunter, 17, was arrested after a drive by shooting in front of the Hillyard Safeway. Hunter was booked into the juvenile detention center and the police department's gang unit started listening in on the calls Hunter made from behind bars, hoping that would lead to more evidence about the shooting.   
Instead, according to detectives, they heard Hunter instructing his 15-year-old brother Dionte on how to run the prostitution ring while he was in juvenile hall.

Dionte Hunter appeared in court Thursday charged with promoting prostitution and promoting the commercial sexual abuse of a minor. Investigators say girls, including Thaishaun Hunter's girlfriend, were ordered to advertise themselves on Backpage.com for $400 dates.

Police allege some of the profits went to Hunter's mother while some was put on Thaishaun's commissary account at the juvenile detention center.

Even though Dionte is just 15 he's going to be prosecuted as an adult, as will his brother. Juvenile court struggled with declining jurisdiction over Dionte Hunter, a Rogers High School student who was considered a good athlete and described by teachers as remarkably intelligent. However he also allegedly extorted money from fellow students there and racked up six felony charges since the beginning of this year.

Dionte's bond was set at $175, 000 in court Thursday. Both he and his brother are in custody at the juvenile detention center.  
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