Lakeland Man Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking And Child Pornography Charges
February 11, 2014
Tampa, Florida– United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Michael Gallon (48, Lakeland) pleaded guilty last week to sex trafficking of a minor by force, fraud or coercion and distribution of child pornography. He faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
According to the plea agreement, Gallon was a “pimp” who was operating in the state of Florida and southeastern United States. He recruited adult and minor aged females to join his “dance team.” Gallon then transported the females to bachelor parties and house parties that he arranged. The females danced and performed acts of prostitution at the parties. Gallon set up “VIP” rooms at each of the parties, where he would encourage the females to engage in commercial sex acts. Gallon charged the women to use the “VIP” rooms; he also kept most of the money the women earned. Law enforcement has identified at least twelve minor-aged victims of Gallon’s crime.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Lakeland Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacie B. Harris.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.