UNITED STATES− In a May 1 press release, The Portland Police Bureau Human Trafficking Unit reported eight individuals were arrested in an April human trafficking operation including former Representative David Hunt of Oregon.

According to the press release, the subjects who contacted undercover police officers responded to decoy advertisements posted by undercover officers on known human trafficking websites to arrange payment for sexual acts.

The following men have been charged with commercial sexual solicitation. Police identified the men as:

Daniel Gallagher, 56, of Portland, Oregon

David Hunt, 53, of Milwaukie, Wisconsin

Adam Kearsley, 36, of Spokane, Washington

Matthew Zelkind, 60, of Portland, Oregon

Emmanuel Rodriquez Barreto, 34, of Vancouver, Canada

Michael James, 53, of Vancouver, Canada

Gerardo Alva, 47, of Vancouver, Canada

Rafael Robles Martinez, 43, of Tacoma, Washington


Former Rep. David Hunt (D-OR)

Among those arrested was former Rep. David Hunt, who served 5 terms in the legislature including both Speaker of the House (2009-2011), and as Democrat Majority Leader. Prior to that he reportedly served in Oregon legislature for more than a decade.

Hunt also served as the Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition, and previously served as a member of the Oregon City School Board. Hunt is currently on leave. According to their website, Hunt is currently running for CCC Director, Zone 3.

In a statement reportedly made through Hunt’s attorney, Michael De Muniz, “Mr. Hunt denies the allegations, but respects the criminal justice process and will refrain from saying more until he has his opportunity in court,” De Muniz stated.