Johnston officer among suspects charged in human trafficking sting


HINGHAM, Mass (WPRI) — Five men, including a Johnston police officer, are facing charges connected to a human trafficking sting earlier this month, according to Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz.

Viet Nguyen, 45, a Johnston officer who resides in Brockton, was arrested at a Rockland hotel on Aug. 5 and charged with trafficking a person for sexual servitude, Cruz said.

The investigation began after Nguyen and four other men responded to a commercial sex advertisement online. Cruz said Nguyen and four others each called the number listed and spoke with an undercover officer posing as a female escort.

Separately, Cruz said Nguyen and the other men arranged to meet up with the escort at the hotel, where they would then exchange sexual acts for money. All five men were taken into custody upon their arrivals.

The other men arrested include Brian Dick, 49 of Abington, James Bi, 35, of Wakefield, Brendan Garafalo, 26, of Lakeville, and Eric VanRiper, 38, of Pembroke.

All five men pleaded not guilty in Hingham District Court and were released on personal recognizance. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 15.

The Johnston Police Department confirmed Nguyen has been suspended without pay pending the results of the investigation.

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