2 men admit to helping run a prostitution ring in Columbia

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Two men admitted they helped run a prostitution ring that operated out of a home in Columbia.

Federal prosecutors say 65-year-old Barry Manthe and 67-year-old Ronald Clark pleaded guilty Tuesday to using the internet to promote a racketeering enterprise.

Twenty-six-year-old Kenneth Jones, of Columbia, pleaded guilty last month to one count of sex trafficking a minor and two counts of transportation for illegal sexual activity in a related case.

The investigation began when FBI agents learned in June 2016 that Jones was forcing a 17-year-old runaway from Wisconsin into prostitution. She was found at a Columbia residence that Manthe and Clark operated as a brothel.

The girl told investigators that Manthe placed ads in on the website Backpage, Clark collected a door fee from the prostitutes and the rest of the money went to Jones.

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