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Local woman indicted on sex trafficking charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2012

St. Louis, MO - Carla Mathews was indicted on multiple charges involving the sex trafficking of two area women by force and intimidation.

According to the indictment, between 2010 and the present time, Carla Mathews recruited and maintained women, physically assaulted them and forced them to engage in prostitution in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The indictment alleges that Mathews took the women to various hotels and kept the money for herself. Additionally, the indictment alleges that she confiscated their food-stamp identification (EBT) cards to control them and deprive them of food and drink as a method of control, and provided the drug MDMA and clothing in preparation for the commercial sex dates arranged by Mathews.

CARLA MATHEWS, St. Louis, was indicted by a federal grand jury on three felony counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. The indictment was returned Wednesday, May 9, 2012, but remained sealed until the arrest of the defendant earlier today. She is expected to appear in federal court today.

If convicted, each count of the indictment carries a penalty range of fifteen years to life in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Investigations and the Breckenridge Hills Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Noelle Collins is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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