News and Press Releases


January 15, 2014

GRANVILLE ROBINSON , a/k/a  “BEAR” and “HB”,  age 25, from Memphis, Tennessee; DUANE PHILLIPS, a/k/a  “P-nut,” age 28, from Memphis, Tennessee; and ANTHONY ELLIS, a/k/a  “Anthony Deshun Lloyd,” “Animal,” and “AD”, age 25, from Memphis, Tennessee, were arrested today for  offenses related to their involvement in sex trafficking adult victims to New Orleans as charged in a five count indictment dated December 20, 2013  and unsealed today by Chief Judge Sarah S Vance, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and United States Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.

According to the Indictment, from May 20, 2013, until December 20, 2013, ROBINSONPHILLIPS and  ELLIS conspired to recruit, entice, harbor and transport several adult women by means of force, threats of force, fraud and coercion to engage in commercial sex acts in New Orleans and elsewhere.  In addition to being charged with conspiring to commit sex trafficking, ROBINSON and PHILLIPS are each charged with a substantive count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.  ROBINSON and PHILLIPS are also charged with transporting women in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution between May 20, 2013, and July 2, 2013.

If convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, ROBINSON, PHILLIPS, and ELLIS each face a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and a life time of supervised release. If convicted of transportation for prostitution, ROBINSON and PHILLIPS face a statutory maximum of ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

United States Attorney Polite reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by agents from the New Orleans Field Offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as the Memphis Field Office of the FBI.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Special Litigation Counsel John C. Richmond and Trial Attorney Christine M. Siscaretti of the Civil Right Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia K. Evans of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

(Download Indictment )

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