Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mark 'Meezilini' Miles / Ivancie 'Ivy' Harris / Prostitution, Murder and a FBI Informant

The arrest of Mark ‘Meezilini’ Miles (photo on right), age 36, for violation of the Federal Mann Act probably wasn’t of particular interest to the majority of citizens in and around the Portland Metro area – much less the rest of the Country.  It sparked my interest from several perspectives.

Miles was the alleged pimp who transported (allegedly) Ivanice ‘Ivy’ Harris to Hawaii for the purposes of prostitution.  Ms. Harris (the alleged prostitute) was subsequently murdered in Hawaii by an alleged ‘john,’ Marine Master Sergeant Nathaniel L. Cosby.  Are you with me so far?  No, I’m not going to discuss the alleged murder.  From reports, it looks pretty open and shut.  I’m interested in the local Portland aspects.  (And, yes, I was having a little fun with ‘alleged’ and ‘allegedly;’ and, yes, I do understand that the murder and arrests are a very serious matter, and a tragedy for Ms. Harris’ family.  But, the phraseology utilized by our legal system can sometimes become tedious, don’t you think?)

The interstate transportation of women for prostitution seems to be a going concern here in Portland considering that seven other pimps were arrested concurrently with Miles.  As an aside, they all have very cool nicknames:  Meezilini, Flawless, Baby Slim, Chocolate, Mackin Mike, The Don, Sammega, and Killa.  These nicknames are so much cooler than my namesake, Baby Face Nelson, whose real name was Lester Joseph Gillis.  For the record, you wouldn’t have wanted to call Lester by his nickname, unless you had some sort of death wish.

The Mann Act, first enacted in 1910, slightly modified thereafter, is rarely enforced by the FBI.  It is also known as the White Slave Traffic Act.  Changing mores, over the years, have made enforcement somewhat archaic.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it was a good thing these guys were nailed, but it is extremely rare, and the prosecution of these cases will be difficult.  The Mann Act has been infrequently used in recent decades to prosecute cases involving minors (females) transported interstate for sex – not so much for prostitution.

One famous case involved Chuck Berry.  Yes, that Chuck Berry:  Maybellene, Johnny B. Goode and many other rock and roll classics.  Berry was one of the first to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  However, in 1962, he received three years in the federal penitentiary for violation of the Mann Act.  It involved Berry transporting a fourteen-year-old girl interstate for sex.

So these current efforts by the FBI to use the Mann Act are interesting to a former FBI Agent.  But, there is another twist.  Apparently, Miles was being developed as an informant for the FBI.  And, I’d like to give you some insight as to how that works.

To be continued…

True Nelson