News and Press Releases

human trafficking rescue project

two truck drivers plead guilty to transporting
an individual to texas for prostitution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two St. Joseph, Mo., area commercial truck drivers – one of whom is a registered sex offender – have pleaded guilty to transporting an individual across state lines for prostitution.

Tony Eugene Wardlow, 55, of St. Joseph, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple today to the charge contained in Jan. 30, 2014, federal indictment. Co-defendant Thomas Farrell, 49, of DeKalb, Mo., pleaded guilty on February 7, 2014, to aiding and abetting Wardlow’s transportation of this individual.

Wardlow is a registered sex offender who was convicted in 1997 in Nodaway County, Mo., of two counts of endangering the welfare of a child (involving two separate child victims) and one count of sexual misconduct (involving one of those victims). Wardlow is self-employed as a commercial truck driver, doing business as Prideco, LLC.

Wardlow admitted that he transported an individual (identified as “Child Victim” or “CV”) to Texas to engage in prostitution activity with himself from Sept. 18 to 21, 2011. Wardlow met CV in August 2011 when s/he was working as a prostitute on Independence Avenue in Kansas City, Mo. Wardlow admitted that he took CV to St. Louis, Mo., and Big Spring, Texas to engage in illicit sexual activity.

Farrell admitted that he aided and abetted Wardlow’s transportion of this same individual to Texas, knowing that Wardlow was engaged in prostitution activity with the child victim prior to and during the trip.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Wardlow will be sentenced to 10 years and three months in federal prison without parole. Farrell is subject to a sentence of up to three years in federal prison without parole. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Daly. It was investigated by the FBI, the Prairie Village, Kan., Police Department, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Overland Park, Kan., Police Department in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.

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