South Jersey Man Pleads Guilty in Delaware to Sex Trafficking of Minor and Firearms Charges
WILMINGTON, Del. - Yusef Reynolds, age 21, of Mays Landing, New Jersey, pled guilty today to sex trafficking of a minor and unlawful possession of a firearm, in violation of federal law. Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced the guilty plea following a hearing in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
Reynolds, who will be sentenced on November 13, 2012 by United States District Judge Richard G. Andrews, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum sentence of life on the child sex trafficking conviction. He faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison on the firearm possession conviction. Reynolds also faces a term of supervised release following his prison sentence of five years to life, and will be required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he lives, works, or attends school. Reynolds has been detained since his January 26, 2012 arrest.
According to statements made and documents filed in court, Reynolds met the 15-year old minor on Facebook in late 2011. On January 17, 2012, the minor decided to run away from home and begin working as a prostitute for Reynolds. Reynolds drove the minor and a 20-year old prostitute who was working for him from South Jersey to a Newark, Delaware hotel. Reynolds photographed the minor and the other female in lingerie and posted their images in advertisements for prostitution on a website.
On January 26, 2012, Federal Bureau of lnvestigation agents traced a phone number used in the prostitution advertisements to a Newark, Delaware hotel, where agents found the minor with Reynolds and the 20-year-old female. Between January 17 and 26, 2012, both females engaged in numerous acts of prostitution in various hotels in New Castle County, Delaware. Reynolds received the money paid by the prostitution customers to engage in sexual acts with the minor and the 20-year-old prostitute.
During a search of computer and camera equipment seized from the hotel room on January 26, 2012, FBI agents found video recordings of Reynolds engaged in various sex acts with the minor and with the 20-year-old female. FBI agents also seized approximately $2,000 in small denominations and a loaded 9-millimeter handgun from the vehicle Reynolds used to transport the females to meet prostitution customers throughout New Castle County. As of the January 26, 2012 arrest, Reynolds was prohibited from possessing a handgun pursuant to a Protection from Abuse Order entered against him in the Family Court for New Castle County in May 2011.
Following the plea hearing, United States Attorney Charles M. Oberly, III stated: "There are few, if any, more disgusting crimes then exploiting vulnerable children. For too long, pimps have avoided serious penalties for their exploitative offenses. Those days are gone. Today, pimps like Yusef Reynolds, whether exploiting underage girls or adult females, can expect to feel the full brunt of the law when identified, arrested and convicted."
"The investigation and prosecution of individuals who prey on vulnerable children continues to be one of our greatest goals," said ASAC Phil Phillips of the FBI's Delaware Office. "The rescue of an abused child through joint cooperative efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies is of the highest priority as are continuing efforts to identify additional child victims and prosecute those who abuse them."
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation, the Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force, and the South Jersey Innocence Lost Task Force. The United States Attorney also wishes to thank the following state and local agencies for their assistance: Delaware State Police; New Castle County Police Department, Delaware Office of Probation and Parole. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward J. McAndrew.