Montgomery County Man Convicted in Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
Underage Girls Drugged and Threatened
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal jury yesterday convicted Lloyd Mack Royal, III, a/k/a “Blyss,” “B,” and “Furious,” age 29, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, of: conspiracy to commit sex trafficking; sex trafficking of a minor; sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; conspiracy to distribute drugs; and distribution of drugs to persons under 21, related to a scheme to prostitute three minor females.
The verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
“We have made it a priority in Maryland to pursue criminals who lure or coerce children into prostitution,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Maryland’s Human Trafficking Task Force works with law enforcement officers and private sector organizations to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking and prosecute criminals who exploit them. Pimps who victimize children are at the top of our list.”
“The defendant preyed upon vulnerable minors and prostituted them by a variety of deplorable means for his own benefit,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to devote its full efforts to prosecuting those who commit such exploitative crimes.”
According to testimony at the two week trial, from April to May 2007 Royal and his co-conspirators coerced a minor girl to engage in sex for pay. In addition, witnesses testified that Royal: coerced two additional minors to engage in sex, for which he was paid; threatened to harm the girls and their families; struck the girls; and held one of the girls at gun point. According to evidence introduced at trial, in order to assert his authority over the girls, Royal would forbid them from contacting certain individuals and forced them to kiss his pinky ring. On several occasions, testimony showed that Royal gave the girls illegal drugs before forcing them to engage in sex with him in order to test the girls’ sexual aptitude. Royal drove the girls to hotels in Gaithersburg, Maryland, or caused them to be transported from Maryland to the District of Columbia, to have them engage in sex. In addition, testimony showed that Royal and his co-defendants provided the girls with cocaine, “dippers” or “ciga-wets” (cigarettes dipped in phencyclidine liquid known as PCP), marijuana and alcohol before coercing them to engage in sex with customers, and sometimes sold cocaine to customers. Witnesses testified that Royal gave the girls instructions on pricing for different sexual acts and instructed the girls to lie about their ages.
Royal faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life, for sex trafficking of a minor; a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life for sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; a maximum of five years in prison for the sex trafficking conspiracy; and seven years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for April 29, 2010 at 9:30 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 http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Human-Trafficking/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez commended Assistant United States Attorney Solette A. Magnelli and Trial Attorney James Felte, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, who are prosecuting the case.