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Freeport fugitives found in Florida
Arrests tied to human trafficking ring
New Gavel

FREEPORT — Freeport area law enforcement officials caught a break last week, after police in Florida arrested a pair of former residents who were wanted on felony warrants, including one count of predatory criminal sexual assault.
The arrests were part of a human trafficking related investigation, authorities said.
The Bay County Florida Sheriff’s Office arrested former Freeport residents Timothy Bennett, 37, and Crystal Houston, 38, on the felony warrants, according to news release from Freeport Police. Bennett and Houston were arrested at a hotel in Palm Beach, Florida — after Freeport Police detectives received a tip that was then passed on to the Florida officers.
Bennett’s warrant was filed in Stephenson County on September 23, 2023 and bond was set at $750,000 at that time. 
The complaint against him was for one count of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child and three counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse — crimes which allegedly occurred between the dates of May 17, 2022 and August 1, 2022. The warrant for Houston was filed in Stephenson County on February 28. She has been ordered to be held without pretrial release until further order of the court. The complaint against her included two counts of Promoting Prostitution, alleged crimes that occurred on November 1, 2021.
“The arrests of Bennett and Houston were the result of an extensive human trafficking investigation. Bennett has been extradited back to Stephenson County and is currently in the custody of the Stephenson County Jail,” said the Freeport Police press release. “Houston is in the process of being extradited back to Stephenson County.”
A preliminary hearing for Benton is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 18, in Stephenson County Circuit court.
Freeport Police Department thanked authorities in Bay County Florida for their help on the case.

freeport fugitives
Crystal Houston and Timothy Bennett