Investigation started by FBI Safe Streets Task Force
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa District Attorney
On Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 34-year-old Richmond resident Mychal Duane Nelson was charged by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office in a felony complaint alleging violations of sex trafficking a minor, pandering a minor, using a minor for sex acts, showing pornography to a minor, contact with a minor for a sex offense and pandering, with allegations that he suffered prior “three strikes” convictions.
In a separate case, Nelson has also been charged with the residential burglary of an apartment in Hercules where losses exceeded $20,000. Nelson is a known associate with a North Richmond Street Gang and has prior arrests for violent crimes. He is currently on State Parole.
The sex trafficking investigation started with the Federal Bureau of Investigation/Contra Costa County Safe Streets Task Force and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit. The investigation showed that Nelson was using social media and other forms of communication to actively recruit a 16-year-old girl and encourage her to engage in prostitution. As part of this process, Nelson sent the girl sexually explicit videos and images of himself and requested that she do the same.
During the sex trafficking investigation, Nelson was tracked throughout Northern and Southern California with the assistance of multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles County Human Trafficking Task Force, the Richmond Police Department, the Vallejo Police Department and several federal law enforcement agencies. He was ultimately arrested on July 13 in Hayward by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility.
Social media platforms are frequently used to identify and recruit minors into the commercial sex industry. If you or someone you know are being pressured or encouraged to engage in prostitution to benefit or help support another person, help is only a phone call away. Contact Community Violence Solutions at 800-670-7273 to speak to a confidential counselor. Or visit the Contra Costa Family Justice Centers in Richmond or Concord to talk to a Navigator about a variety of services and support available right here in Contra Costa County. The Family Justice Centers are a family-friendly one-stop center serving victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and other types of interpersonal violence. No appointment is needed, and the centers are located at 256 24th Street in Richmond, 2151 Salvio St., Suite. 201 in Concord or 3501 Lone Tree Way in Antioch. To learn more about human trafficking in Contra Costa County, visit the Contra Costa Human Trafficking Coalition’s webpage at www.contracostacoalition.org.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office Senior Inspector Kevin Coelho at 925-957-8629.
UPDATE: According to Alonso, “there might be additional victims.”
Case Information: People v. Mychal Nelson 01-190646-0; People v. Mychal Nelson 02-330323-7
Allen Payton contributed to this report.