News and Press Releases

Cleveland woman sentenced to nearly six years in prison for role in underage sex trafficking ring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 29, 2012

A Cleveland woman was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison for her role in a sex trafficking ring that forced children into prostitution, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federau Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland office.

Chardee Barfield, 22, previously pleaded guilty to two counts: sex trafficking of a minor and transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution. She was sentenced to 70 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster.

Her co-defendant, Ernest F. McClain, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, Nov. 30 at 1:30 p.m.

“Stopping human trafficking is a top priority of this office,” Dettelbach said. “Forcing children to sell their bodies as part of the commercial sex industry is appalling.”

Anthony said: “The FBI and its partners are committed to rescuing victims of this horrible crime and bringing these predators to justice.”

From October 1, 2011, through December 5, 2011, McClain and Barfield recruited, enticed, harbored, provided, obtained and maintained, by any means, a person knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact, that the person had not attained the age of 18 years and would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act, according to court documents.

Also, from on or about December 16, 2011, through December 31, 2011, McClain and Barfield transported a 16 year-old girl from Ohio to Pennsylvania with the intent that the girl engage in prostitution, according to court documents.

One confidential informant, a teen runaway, told investigators that McClain and Barfield forced her to prostitute herself 10 times a day over a month-long period, with a total of 200 men, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

McClain and Barfield used web sites, including backpage.com, to advertise the prostitution operation, according to the affidavit.

Another person told investigators that McClain beat girls who prostituted for him to ensure they kept working for him, according to the affidavit.

This case is being prosecuted by Northern District of Ohio Assistant United States Attorney Michael A. Sullivan.  The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Wickliffe and Mentor police departments.

 

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