Suspect in sex trafficking in court; 911 caller hailed as hero - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather


Suspect in sex trafficking in court; 911 caller hailed as hero

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by ABC6 News Reporter Mark Curtis

Thirty-year old Stephen Ardrey, seen on surveillance video, is in custody on sex trafficking charges, all due to the sharp eyes of Jimmy Pugliese who was driving down Nooseneck Hill Road and spotted Ardrey and a missing teen.

"I slowed down about 5 miles and hour. Made contact, made eye contact with them. And at that point I was pretty sure it was them. So I pulled into the Gentleman Farmer, and dialed 911," Pugliese said.

Pugliese who is the Food Service Manager at Rhode Island Hospital recognized the two from TV stories.

He doesn't consider himself a hero.

"It's not personal with me. You know it was just - as a father and as a citizen - it's what you want to happen," Pugliese said.

Stephen Ardrey was arraigned in federal court Providence Friday afternoon. ABC6 News is no longer naming or showing his 17–year old accuser because of the nature of the charges.

"One is sex trafficking with children and another is traveling with a minor for the purpose of sex," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein.

ABC 6 News Reporter Mark Curtis said, "The accused is being held without bail pending his next court appearance, but no date for that has been set."

A conviction could mean a tough sentence.

"He'll have a mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life," said prosecutor Goldstein.

The suspect does have a previous criminal record, but his court appointed attorneys, who would not discuss it.

"No, no!" said one defense attorney.

"I have no comment on the case, sir," said another defense attorney.

Authorities say suspect Stephen Ardrey is from Missouri and has a previous arrest record.



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