A father and son from Reno, Nevada are accused of driving to National City to pick up a woman and her underage sister for the purposes of prostitution, the U.S. Attorney said.
Investigators said Conoly Freddie Franklin III, 50, spoke with someone who he believed to be a 27-year-old woman but was actually an undercover deputy with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
The conversations happened over Facebook starting August 23. Conoly and the deputy then exchanged over 40 messages throughout the course of a week, according to court documents.
In their conversations, the undercover deputy mentioned she had a 16-year-old sister. Conoly suggested both sisters come to Reno to work as prostitutes, according to court documents.
On August 30, Conoly told the deputy he found a car to pick her and the sister up in. He also said he would bring his son, Andre Anthony Franklin, investigators said.
Messages uncovered from Andre's phone showed a separate conversation with another undercover agent with the Napa Special Investigations Bureau in northern California.
When Andre believed he was talking to a 16-year-old girl in Napa, asking to become a prostitute, he said “Yea I’m Coo … Anything we want or need should never be too much we could accomplish Watever in this lifestyle,” according to court documents.
Conoly and Andre arrived in National City the next day on August 31. They drove to the Ramada Inn on National City Boulevard to pick up the 27-year-old girl and her sister, deputies added.
When they arrived, they were arrested at 5:55 a.m. by the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force.
An audio recorder in the police car caught conversations between the Franklins.
“They have nothing on us… We weren’t here pimpin’ and panderin’,” Conoly said.
Conoly was charged with attempted enticement of an adult and aiding and abetting.
Andre was charged with attempted enticement of a minor and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
When Conoly was confronted with the undercover deputy’s fake Facebook profile, he told officers it was “just talk.”
“Just conversations, she is an adult, it’s not like I am walking with a kid,” Conoly said.
Andre’s lawyer, Anthony Colombo Jr., released this statement to NBC 7 on Monday:
"Every defendant is innocent until proven guilty, Mr. Franklin intends to enter a plea of not guilty, and has no further comment at this time."