ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today announced that Felipe Smith, 24, of Atlanta, has been indicted in Clayton County in a case that involves the trafficking of an adult female with a developmental disability. Specifically, the defendant is alleged to have transported and provided the victim to buyers at various hotels around metro-Atlanta for the purpose of performing commercial sex acts. Smith is further alleged to have benefitted financially from the sale of the victim. These acts are alleged to have a connection to the defendant’s association with the criminal street gang, PDE. For this reason, Smith is also facing charges of Violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. This case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking and Gang Prosecution Units.
“Alongside our partners at GBI, we have located an adult victim with a disability in a first-of-its-kind case for our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit,” said Carr. “We’re fighting each day to protect our most vulnerable Georgians, and that includes our ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking and gang activity in every one of our communities. We will not rest in our pursuit of justice for this young woman and survivors across our state.”
This case was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, along with the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking and Gang Prosecution Units. The defendant was taken into custody with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service.
“The GBI’s HEAT Unit works closely with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office to seek justice for victims,” said GBI Director Chris Hosey. “This case reveals the heinous nature of the crimes we investigate. We will continue to work with our public safety partners to hold people accountable for these vicious acts.”
PDE, also known as Paradise East or Paper Drugs Extortion, originated in the area of Paradise East Apartments in Atlanta. PDE members generally identify with the Bloods.
Clayton County Indictment
On Dec. 6, 2023, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking and Gang Prosecution Units presented evidence to a Clayton County Grand Jury, resulting in the indictment* of Felipe Smith. The charges against the defendant are included below.
- 6 counts of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude
- 3 counts of Violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act
About the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking and Gang Prosecution Units
In 2019, with the support of Governor Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp and leaders in the Georgia General Assembly, Attorney General Chris Carr created the first-of-its-kind statewide Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
Last year, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit led and assisted 33 case investigations and rescued and assisted 116 victims.
So far, the Unit has obtained 29 new convictions in 2023, all of which have included prison sentences.
The Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit has 39 defendants who are currently under indictment for sex or labor trafficking, with some facing charges in multiple jurisdictions around the state.
The Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit is housed in the Prosecution Division, which also includes Carr’s Gang Prosecution Unit and his Public Integrity and White Collar Crime Unit.
The Gang Prosecution Unit officially began its historic work on July 1, 2022. In total, this new Unit has indicted 89 alleged gang members across the state, including Athens-Clarke, Barrow, Bryan, Clayton, Cobb, Dougherty, Fulton, Gwinnett, Muscogee, and Thomas counties. The Gang Prosecution Unit has also secured 25 new convictions since April 2023.
The statewide Gang Prosecution Unit is based in Atlanta, with regional, satellite prosecutors and investigators in Albany and Augusta, Georgia.
*Members of the public should keep in mind that indictments contain only allegations against the individual against whom the indictment is sought. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it will be the government’s burden at trial to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the allegations contained in the indictment.