Frederick Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor
Greenbelt, Maryland - Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Duane Mason, age 36, of Frederick, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release for sex trafficking of a minor.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
According to Mason’s plea agreement, on April 22, 2010, a minor female under the age of 16 was reported missing by her family. James Davis, whom Mason knew through his drug dealings, had recruited the female to work for him as a prostitute. On the morning that the minor was reported missing Davis sent Mason a text message stating “I got one...Im trying to put to work.” Mason, with Davis present, took sexually suggestive photographs of the minor female together with a prostitute who worked for Mason. On April 25, 2010, Mason, Davis and the prostitute used the computer of one of Mason’s friends to post the photographs online in the “escort” section of Backpage.com, using Mason’s Backpage.com account. The posting contained three images of the minor victim in sexually suggestive poses, and a photograph of the prostitute. Mason and Davis purchased a phone card so that the minor victim and the prostitute could receive calls from their “dates.” Mason, who was aware that the minor victim was not yet 16, warned her not to get caught, because she could get him in a lot of trouble.
On April 26, 2010, an undercover police officer contacted one of the numbers provided in the online posting and arranged a “date” with the minor female. Law enforcement observed Mason rent a room at a Gaithersburg motel, then return to the location where the undercover officer had been instructed to meet the minor female. Davis, the prostitute, and the minor female were all in the vehicle being driven by Mason. The minor female entered the undercover officer’s vehicle and solicited sex from the officer, who gave the minor female $200. The minor female instructed the undercover officer to drive to the motel, and Mason followed them to that location. The minor female got out of the car, gave the $200 to the prostitute, who in turn gave the money to Mason, who was waiting in the back seat of his vehicle. Mason, Davis, and the prostitute were arrested. In Mason’s vehicle, officers recovered marijuana and crack cocaine, and one of the $100 bills provided to the minor by the undercover officer. The second $100 bill was in Davis’ possession.
James Davis pleaded guilty to distributing narcotics to a minor and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Chief Judge Chasanow has scheduled his sentencing for September 19, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.
The case was investigated by the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force formed in 2007 to discover and rescue victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. Members include federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as victim service providers and local community members. For more information about the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, please visit www.justice.gov/usao/md/Human-Trafficking/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and the Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation and recognized the Maryland State Police and Anne Arundel County Police Department for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mara Zusman Greenberg and Rachel M. Yasser and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas, assigned from the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, who are prosecuting the case.