News and Press Releases

Maryland Man Charged with Sex Trafficking of Juvenile

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Cooper Kweme, 31, of Silver Spring, Md., has been indicted by a federal grand jury of sex trafficking, transportation of a minor for prostitution, and production of child pornography.

Neil MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James  McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and M. Douglas Scott, Arlington County Chief of Police made the announcement. 

“It’s anguishing to think that contact through a teen social site could lead a vulnerable girl into the world of sex slavery,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Mr. Kweme is accused of recruiting girls online and other locations to work for his prostitution business. Our youth must be vigilant against predators trolling on social networking sites, like Tagged, and bring any suspicious activity to the attention of law enforcement so we can catch sex traffickers before they can enslave more victims.”

According to the indictment and court records, Kweme allegedly operated a prostitution business in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, and used the Internet to advertise women as prostitutes.  In February 2011, Kweme is accused of recruiting a juvenile female to work as a prostitute after meeting her on an online social network targeted at teens.  Kweme subsequently posted photographs of the juvenile on the Internet, including a sexually explicit photograph.  Kweme was arrested by the Arlington County Police Department on June 1, 2011, and later charged in federal court.  Kweme is scheduled to be arraigned on July 29, 2011, in the United States District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

If convicted, Kweme faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison for the sex trafficking and transportation of a minor for prostitution charges. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison for the production of child pornography charge.

This case was investigated by the Arlington County Police Department and FBI’s Northern Virginia Resident Agency. Assistant United States Attorneys Morris Parker and Mary Daly are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

 

 

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