A federal jury convicted two Hyattsville, Maryland men today of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, including by force, fraud, or coercion, as well as sex trafficking three minors, throughout the East Coast over the course of several months in 2016.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement.
Ivan Duane Williams aka “Lucci,” 28, and Dennis Ray Davis Jr. aka “Dee,” 26, were convicted following a six-day jury trial before Senior U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III in the Eastern District of Virginia. According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Williams and Davis recruited three underage girls whom they trafficked in multiple locations, including Atlanta, Georgia; Maryland; Northern Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; and Washington, D.C. The evidence presented at trial showed that Williams and Davis, working together and with two female co-conspirators in the sex trafficking ring, posted online advertisements of the victims, offering them for commercial sex with men throughout the region; reserved hotel rooms at which they and the victims would stay when traveling to engage in commercial sex acts; drove the victims to the hotels and other locations where the commercial sex acts would occur; and collected the money given to the victims by the commercial sex customers. The evidence further showed that when two of the minors tried to leave the group, the defendants resorted to violence, including threats, physical force, and brandishing firearms. Williams and Davis used the money earned by the victims to create rap music where they bragged about exploiting females, and to fund their day-to-day living expenses.
The victims were recovered after law enforcement with the Fairfax County Police Department and Henrico County Police Department responded in undercover capacities to online advertisements for the victims.
“Every American has the right to be safe from violence and exploitation, and it is the mission of this Department to help secure that right,” said Attorney General Sessions. “Today, during this Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we have won a major victory by securing the conviction of two men who trafficked and exploited underage girls for commercial sex. I want to thank the dedicated men and women of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, our partners with the Fairfax and Henrico County police, and our dedicated and skilled prosecutors Maureen Cain and Jessica Urban for their hard work in ensuring the criminals are held accountable and justice is achieved for the victims. They have delivered results today that will make this country a safer place for children. I also want to thank President Trump for calling attention to this issue by designating January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The Justice Department will remain steadfast in our efforts to rescue trafficking victims and put those who victimize children behind bars.”
The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force investigated the case with substantial assistance from the Fairfax County Police Department and the Henrico County Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Cain of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Jessica Urban of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) are prosecuting the case.
This investigation was a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
President Donald J. Trump recently announced January 2018 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, which culminates on February 1, 2018 with the annual celebration of National Freedom Day. In February 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order, which directed the Attorney General to dismantle transnational criminal organizations, including those involved in human trafficking.