Attorney General Andy Beshear says a Kansas man who attempted to purchase a Kentucky child for $250 and in exchange for drugs will be extradited to Kentucky to face charges.
Beshear and his Department of Criminal Investigations Cyber Crime Unit made the announcement today, following the arrest of Ernest Merle John Anziana, 48, of Fredonia, Kansas, last week.
The Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas arrested Anziana last week following an investigation by Beshear’s office.
Anziana’s charges include five counts of unlawful use of electronic means originating or received within the Commonwealth of Kentucky to induce a minor for sex, a Class D felony, and one count of promoting human trafficking with a victim under the age of 18, a Class C felony.
The investigation began when Beshear’s Cyber Crimes Unit obtained information that Anziana was attempting to solicit sex from an underage child in Kentucky and offered to purchase the child for $250 and in trade of 7 grams of methamphetamine.
Following the unit’s lead, the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office traced the information back to Anziana.
Anziana was also charged with solicitation to commit human trafficking in Greenwood County, which is located in the southeast portion of Kansas nearly 700 miles from Frankfort.
Anziana was indicted by Beshear’s office in Franklin Circuit Court Tuesday, Feb. 6, and was served with the indictment warrant in Kansas Feb. 7.
The Cyber Crimes Unit was assisted by the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office. Anziana is currently held in Kansas awaiting extradition to Kentucky.
“The details involved in this case are disturbing, yet our office encounters human trafficking cases in every county, city and community across Kentucky,” Beshear said. “Human trafficking represents the worst form of abuse, most often in children, like we have in this case. Every part of my office is committed to investigating and prosecuting predators seeking to harm our children and families. I want to thank our cyber investigators and the team at the Greenwood County Sheriff’s office.”
Beshear created the Office of Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Prevention went he entered office. The office, along with the Department of Criminal Investigations, has opened 14 human trafficking cases, and assisted local law enforcement and prosecutors on 106 additional human trafficking complaints.
Over the past two years, the number of arrests, indictments and convictions by Beshear’s Department of Criminal Investigations Cyber Crimes Unit has reached historic levels, totaling more than 145.
Beshear said that Kentuckians have a moral and legal duty to report any instance of child abuse to local law enforcement or to Kentucky’s Child Abuse hotline at 877-597-2331 or 877-KYSAFE1.