Ocala man arrested on six counts of human trafficking

On Friday, December 2, 2022, in Stockbridge, Georgia, Dwight Tawan Edwards (B/M, DOB: 9/2/1975) was arrested on a Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) warrant for six (6) counts of Human Trafficking and six (6) counts of Lewd or Lascivious Battery. On November 29, 2022, his wife, Jessica Lynn Edwards (H/F, DOB: 10/25/1989), was arrested for two (2) counts of Child Neglect.

On November 22, 2022, MCSO Major Crimes Detective Kip Peterson began investigating Dwight after inappropriate texts between Dwight and two juvenile victims, who were between 12 and 16 years old were found. During the course of Detective Peterson’s investigation, he determined that Dwight had been coercing the children into trading sexual favors for cash and items of monetary value for more than a year. Detective Peterson brought Jessica in for an interview to inform her that we would be arresting Dwight when he was located. Detectives asked for her assistance in locating him, however, she declined. It was also discovered that during the Thanksgiving holiday, Jessica had forced the juvenile victims to have contact with Dwight alone. Based on this information, detectives arrested Jessica for Child Neglect.

MCSO detectives obtained a warrant for Dwight’s arrest. Members of the US Marshal’s Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force determined that Dwight had made his way to Stockbridge, Georgia. They contacted the US Marshal’s Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force, and with the assistance of the Henry County Police Department, they took Dwight into custody.

Jessica is currently being held at the Marion County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Dwight is being held at the Henry County Jail, awaiting extradition back to Marion County.

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