Lauderhill Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking of Minors
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Franklin C. Adderly, Chief of Police, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, announced that Deangelo Jones, 20, of Lauderhill, was convicted by a jury on December 6, 2012, on charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1591(a)(1) and 1594(c). Sentencing has been scheduled for February 14, 2012.
More specifically, after a three day trial before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas, the jury found defendant Jones guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and two counts of sex trafficking of minors. At trial, three victims who ranged in age from 12 to 14 when they worked for Jones, and all runaways at the time, testified that Jones prostituted them.
According to the trial evidence, Jones enticed minor female runaways in his neighborhood to work for him as prostitutes in exchange for his protection, and in the case of one minor, promises of love. Jones would pay other individuals to rent hotel rooms in their names and then use these rooms to prostitute the minors. Jones would instruct the girls on when it was time to “post” referring to posting advertisements for their “escort” services on a website called Backpage.com. When the customers arrived at the hotels, they would engage in sexual activity with one or more of the minors. Following these “dates” the minors were required to give Jones all of their earnings. One of the minors testified that after a “date,” she attempted to keep $20 for herself, and when Jones found out, he beat her and stripped off her clothes in front a hotel room full of people. Two of the victims, including a 12 year old, testified that Jones engaged in sexual activity with them within hours of meeting them.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Francis Viamontes, Karen Stewart and Corey Steinberg.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.