Champaign man arrested for promoting prostitution operation

By Daniel Corry

A Champaign man by the name of Albert L. Redmon, 54, was arrested on Wednesday at 7:30 P.M at a hotel in the 1900 block of Moreland Boulevard for allegedly running a prostitution operation in the Champaign area. Investigators disguised themselves as solicitors of Redmon’s operation and arrested him after a client agreed to exchange money for sexual favors.

Redmon was taken to the Champaign County Jail under the preliminary charge of promoting prostitution. He will be formally charged and arraigned in Champaign County Court at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Redmon, a building service worker at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, had his university identification and keys seized upon booking. He was also issued a no-trespassing notice for U. of I. property, meaning he can be arrested for trespassing if he returns to campus for any reason.

University Police spokesperson Patrick Wade said that police have obtained search warrants for Redmon’s home, vehicle, cellphones and other electronic devices, and that the investigation into the extent of Redmon’s alleged operation is ongoing.

“We are searching some of Mr. Redmond’s property and interviewing different people who were involved in the operation, including Mr. Redmond himself, to determine who all was involved and what the extent of this was and how to proceed from there,” Wade said.

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    This investigation began in June 2014 after the FBI received an anonymous tip through the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. The tip suggested that Redmon was involved in recruiting women for a prostitution operation.

    The FBI later turned over information to the Office of the Champaign County State’s Attorney for charging and the University Police Department continued the investigation, which led to Wednesday night’s events.

    Wade said that the reason this operation took a while to come to fruition was because of the complexity of these types of federal investigations.

    “There are a lot of moving parts to these big federal investigations and that’s why it gets drawn out a little bit,” Wade said. “[The FBI was] going through and doing some detailed work about who is behind the website, where is it located, and once the Champaign County State’s Attorney and [University police] got involved we were able to supplement that and did more of the work in interviewing people who were his employees and ultimately planning this sting operation we conducted last night.”

    Police have confirmed that Redmon recruited women from two other colleges in the state and a part-time University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign employee.

    Wade also said there is no reason to believe Redmond was a part of a larger trafficking organization, and that the University Public Safety Department appreciates the cooperation they have had with the FBI and Champaign County State’s Attorney

    According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 4,168 human trafficking cases were reported in 2015, including 90 in Illinois. The vast majority of those – 3,093 cases – were sex trafficking cases. It is believed that far more cases go unreported.

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