MIAMI, Okla. – A Joplin woman and two Arkansas women were arrested for prostitution and drug possession during an undercover human trafficking investigation.
Natota Kay Ortner, 33, of Joplin, Chanda Ann Thibodeaux, 40, of Fayetteville, Ark., and Erika R. Pounce, 37, of Bentonville, Ark. were charged in Ottawa County District Court with engaging in prostitution and possession of a controlled dangerous substance, all misdemeanor charges.
In a related investigation, Rayne Marie Castillo, 26, of Carthage, was arrested in 2021 for engaging in prostitution and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. An outstanding warrant was issued April 8 for Castillo for failing to appear in court, online records show.
Officers with the 13th Judicial District Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force were engaged in an undercover operation aimed at locating human trafficking victims on Quapaw Nation and Eastern Shawnee Tribe trust land, according to arrest affidavits.
The undercover agents answered several “online escort” advertisements and arranged meetings with the women, the affidavit states.
Undercover agents provided Ortner $500, Ponce and Thibodeaux $400, and Castillo $240 for sex, the affidavits state.
Ortner, Ponce and Thibodeaux are due back in court on April 28, online court records show.