U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
January 11, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Nathan G. Pope, 48, of Indianapolis, Indiana, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence Monday to conspiracy and transporting an individual across state lines to engage in prostitution, in violation of the Mann Act. Pope and a codefendant, Jan M. Wales, 45, of Indianapolis, were charged with trafficking two women they recruited on the Internet to a Rhode Island hotel to engage in prostitution. Wales pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence in August.
The guilty pleas, which were accepted by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, were announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston; and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen McCartney.
At Pope’s change of plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly told the court that in December 2009, Pope drove the women from Indianapolis to a hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island, and checked in with the intent to solicit customers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The next day, Pope left one of the women at the hotel after assaulting her, prompting her to contact Warwick Police. That evening, Pope was located at a hotel in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, near Bradley Airport, and arrested by ICE Special Agents on a federal arrest warrant.
Wales, who remained in Indianapolis, scheduled appointments for the women and relayed the information to Pope in Rhode Island via text messages. She was arrested in Arizona in February.
U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “As unbelievable as it may seem, in the shadows of modern society, there are still those who traffic in the lives of others for profit. This Office, together with our federal, state and local partners, stands committed to protecting and seeking justice for the victims of these human trafficking crimes, typically women and children.”
“Many people are unaware that this form of modern day slavery still occurs in the United States,” said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Boston. “While we can't erase the suffering these two women experienced, by aggressively investigating and prosecuting these cases, ICE HSI and our law enforcement partners are sending a powerful warning about the consequences facing those responsible for such heinous acts.”
Pope is scheduled to be sentenced on April 29, 2011.