Man Accused of Attempting to Buy Teen in Undercover Sex Trafficking Sting Faces Hearing on Thursday

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – A man accused of attempting to buy a teen in an undercover sex trafficking sting will face a hearing on Thursday.

According to court documents, a preliminary hearing against 45-year-old David M. Bereznak, of Ebervale, Luzerne County, Pa., is scheduled for Thursday, February 14, in Gregory M. Bazylak’s office.

Bereznak has been charged with the following offenses:

– Trafficking in Minors, Felony 1
– Criminal Attempt – Trafficking in Minors, Felony 1
– Criminal Solicitation – Trafficking in Minors, Felony 1
– Criminal Solicitation – Statutory Sexual Assault: 11 Years Older, Felony 1
– Unlawful Contact With Minor – Sexual Offenses, Felony 1
– Criminal Attempt – Patronizing Victim of Sexual Servitude, Felony 2
– Corruption Of Minors – Defendant Age 18 or Above, Felony 3
– Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3

He is currently lodged in the Jefferson County Jail on $100,000.00 bail.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 6:28 p.m. on Friday, January 25, Officer Turnbull, of the Brookville Borough Police Department, working undercover in an ongoing sex trafficking sting, was contacted with a simple “Hey” message.

Officer Turnbull responded to this message with a prewritten message describing the rates and location of a supposed escort/message group. This prewritten message was the result of an ad that had been posted on a known website that is believed to be used in the prostitution and trafficking of persons to include minors. A simple form of contact such as receiving a “Hey” message of this nature was/is the normal way to initiate contact in this environment.

This person responded that he was 150 miles away. He requested to see who he would be meeting and again contacted at 8:21 p.m. with three question marks. At 12:57 a.m. on Saturday, January 26, this person contacted again informing that he would like to plan a trip on Saturday. The person was asked if he was going to drive 150 miles, and he responded that if he knew it was going to be worth his time. He then reported he might even be able to assist in expanding the services, so people won’t have to drive as far. Recognizing this to be indicative of human trafficking – offering to expand the business of prostitution – the persona informed him that he was interested.

The person informed the persona that he did not want to drive all the way for nothing and would like to see what the persona had to offer. The persona sent the person three pictures of females with photos acquired from open source social media and known persons to law enforcement. With these pictures, the persona included the ages 15 and two other minors.

This person asked the attitudes of each person. The persona gave the person the attitudes of each fictitious female. The person then asked about a deal for all three females given how far away he was. The persona gave the person a price for all three for four hours. The person then asked about rates for the girls if he has just two and just one, and the persona provided the person given rates for this situation. The person then asked if he could take a girl with him when he leaves, according to the complaint.

To have a way to start his business, the persona informed the person he would let him have the female that was a “problem child” for $300.00. The person reported he wanted another one who would later serve as an example to the other girls he intended to get. The persona informed the person for that person it would be $600.00. The person reported that amount of money on short notice would be a little difficult. The persona informed the person they could pay $300.00 and that he could pay $300.00 today and leave his driver’s license so that he could be found later if he did not provide the rest of the money for the girl, the complaint states.

The persona stated that he would give him a location as he got closer.

The person wanted a photo of the girl he was getting because he was driving 3 1/2 hours and wanted to be sure.

After some discussion, a known female who the girl is in real life sent a picture of three fingers up – as requested by the person – and the picture was forward to the person.

The persona asked the person for a photo, and after some discussion, he did send a picture of himself with his fingers over his face. The person was hesitant to send this picture reporting that this is not the type of text message conversation you want your face connected to.

The person informed the persona that he wanted guidance in the process of how to conduct a prostitution operation – this was new to him.

The person asked for a nude picture of the underage girl to confirm that the persona was not the police. This person said he knows the police cannot send nudes like that, so he would know if the persona was the police or not based on if the picture was sent. He said this kind of picture would bring peace of mind to him.

Officer Turnbull Google searched porn, and his first option was taken as a screenshot and sent to the person.

During this time the person said he was in Snowshoe, Pa.

The man also expressed his concerns about being jumped, robbed or mugged, and the persona informed the man they had to trust each other.

The man informed the persona that he was near the 101 Exit, and he was given the location of the Super 8 Motel as the meeting place.

When the man sent a message that he was at the red light, Officer Turnbull informed Chief Markle and Officer Gray that the target was about to pull in. Officer Turnbull observed a 2014 orange colored Jeep pull in and stop at the designated point. Chief Markle and Officer Gray pulled in and conducted a high-risk style stop on the man.

The man initially reported he did not know what was going on or why.

He was identified as David Bereznak.

He was taken to the police cruiser and read his Miranda warnings and expressed that he had simply come to verify that what was going on was actually going on before he called the police.

Bereznak was transported to the station by Officer Gray. He continued with the position that he simply came to verify the girls needed to be rescued, the complaint states.

Bereznak was arraigned at 8:44 p.m. on Sunday, January 27, in Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office.

RELATED:

Brookville Borough Police Department Leads Charge Against Sex Trafficking


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