Woman arrested for helping accused sex trafficker escape from custody

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File image(Source: Gray News)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 3:36 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Federal officials have charged an Anchorage woman with helping an Anchorage man in federal custody escape while he was on a court-ordered release to meet with his attorney.

Tristan Jamal Grant, 35, faces federal charges for sex trafficking minors, producing child pornography, and — after being arrested by local police for allegedly shooting a woman — being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On Feb. 16, six days before his federal trial was set to begin, Grant was released to meet with his attorney at the attorney’s office. After meeting with the attorney, the court-approved defense investigator who was taking Grant to and from Anchorage Correctional Center said Grant threw paperwork into the vehicle and ran away.

Grant now faces additional federal charges of escape and failure to appear. Julissa Carter, 32 of Anchorage, is facing federal charges for assisting an escape and aiding and abetting Grant’s failure to appear in court.

Once Grant escaped, FBI officers reviewed Grant’s jail calls. They learned that immediately after learning he was to be released, Grant called Carter, who’s also known as “Red,” to discuss the location and layout of his attorney’s office.

In other calls, prosecutors say, the two exchanged cryptic information and discussed a meeting on Feb. 16. Investigators discovered that Carter had rented a local hotel room on the morning of Feb. 17.

Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the hotel room and when they entered, found both Grant and Carter, who were arrested.

Both Grant and Carter face up to 15 years for the charges related to the escape. Grant faces up to five years for escape and up to 10 years for failure to appear. Carter faces up to five years for assisting an escape and 10 years for aiding and abetting his failure to appear. Both were indicted on the charges by a federal grand jury on Feb. 18.

Carter was released on her own recognizance Monday with the requirement that she submit to electronic monitoring and other stipulations. She is next due in federal court on March 11.

Grant has an arraignment and detention hearing in the escape case on Thursday. Prosecutors say his trial on sex trafficking charges will be rescheduled.

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