Three men arrested on human trafficking charges in Paducah

PADUCAH — Three men were arrested in Paducah Thursday on human trafficking charges.

65-year-old Ray Hall Wright Jr. of Mayfield, 42-year-old James Christian Cunkelman of Fort Campbell, and 24-year-old Austin Lee Gish of Many, Louisiana were arrested after they showed up to a local motel.

The Paducah Police Department says the three men were expecting to meet a girl under the age of 18 for sex.

The men were arrested following an operation conduced by the Paducah Police Department and the Kentucky Attorney General’s office.

The offices set up an online ad and had female police officers communicating with men who responded to the ad. Several of the men who responded expressed their interest in having sex with an under-age girl.

Between December 19, 2018 and January 28, 2019, more than 200 advertisements of “sex for sale” in the Paducah area were found online. Several  of those ads involved people less than 18 years of age.

In Kentucky, hiring a person less than 18 years of age, whether or not that minor gives consent, is considered promoting human trafficking, a Class C felony.

Wright, Cunkelman, and Gish were all charged with promoting human trafficking (victim less than 18 years of age) and use of an electronic communication system to procure a minor for sex offenses.

All three men were taken to the McCracken County Regional Jail. Bond has not yet been set.

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