Duluth Man Indicted for Sex Trafficking a Minor
Irby Allegedly Exploited a 16-Year-Old Runaway for His Financial Gain
ATLANTA - Myron Irby, 29, of Duluth, Georgia, appeared in federal court today on charges of sex trafficking a 16-year-old girl. Irby was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker. Irby was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 23, 2012, for sex trafficking of a minor and attempted sex trafficking of a minor.
United States Attorney Sally Yates said, “This case demonstrates that there is no ‘stereotypical’ sex trafficking offender. Traffickers range from violent abusers to subtle manipulators who prey upon those whose life circumstances make them vulnerable. Unfortunately, in some cases, the offender shares a close relationship with the victim, such as a spouse, significant other, or family member, making the victim even more susceptible to the offender’s manipulations. No matter how or by whom the crime is perpetrated, sex trafficking is indefensible and everyone who engages in it must be held accountable.”
Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta, stated, “Sex trafficking of minors remains as a serious problem for our region in part because it is often difficult to detect. Much of this type of child exploitation often takes place through the use of various internet web pages or advertisements; thereby, making it possible for such activity to occur anywhere and within any community. The FBI continues to urge anyone with information regarding such activity to contact their nearest law enforcement agency immediately.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On at least two occasions in 2011, Irby benefitted financially from the commercial sex acts of his “girlfriend,” then a 16-year-old runaway. On June 24, 2011, law enforcement officers in Kennesaw, Georgia encountered Irby and the young girl during a traffic stop. At the time, the young girl was scantily dressed and advised law enforcement that Irby was a family member. After discovering that the victim was a runaway, law enforcement took her to a local treatment facility.
Soon after recovering the victim, law enforcement found internet advertisements soliciting sex clients for and containing photographs of the victim on the website Backpage.com. During interviews, the victim stated that she posted the Backpage.com advertisements and admitted that Irby drove her to Kennesaw to engage in commercial sex with a client. The victim also revealed that Irby was her boyfriend, that Irby knew her real age, that she lived with Irby for several weeks, and that she engaged in acts of prostitution (both with and without Irby’s knowledge) so that she could contribute to household finances. In July 2011, the Cobb County Police Department interviewed Irby about the victim. At that time, law enforcement told Irby that the victim was 16 years old.
Three months later, in October 2011, the victim ran away from the treatment facility where she was housed. While trying to locate the victim, law enforcement again found Backpage.com advertisements soliciting sex clients for the victim. Investigators then set up an operation to recover the victim and arranged for her to meet an undercover officer posing as a client at a hotel in Sandy Springs, Georgia. When the victim arrived at the hotel, she was accompanied by Irby. The victim was recovered and Irby was taken into custody. During a search of Irby’s cell phone, investigators found text messages where Irby told the victim that he did not have any money, and the victim told Irby that she would “post another ad” to help him with his finances.
Each of the charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines which are not binding, but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes the Atlanta Police Department, the Cobb County Police Department, the Fulton County Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Gwinnett County Police Department, the City of Marietta Police Department, and the Sandy Springs Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Nekia S. Hackworth is prosecuting the case.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.