TACOMA FELON SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS IN PRISON FOR SEX TRAFFICKING OFFENSES
Defendant Pimped Young Girls on Craigslist and on the Streets
EZEKIEL ALON HAMPTON, 32, of Tacoma, Washington was sentenced May 10, 2009, in U. S. District Court in Tacoma, to 13 years in prison and ten years of supervised release for five counts involving the sex trafficking of teenage females. On December 15, 2009, HAMPTON pleaded guilty to two counts of Interstate Transportation of a Minor, one count of Interstate Transportation for Prostitution, and two counts of Sex Trafficking of a Minor. At sentencing, Judge Benjamin H. Settle pointed out that HAMPTON caused a lot of “human wreckage” and that through his actions he devastated the young lives of the victims and referring to one victim, noting that HAMPTON in essence gave her a “life sentence.”
According to records in the case, the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force began investigating HAMPTON in February 2008, when the Lakewood Police Department contacted a14-year-old runaway regarding an assault. The girl said she had recently left HAMPTON who was pimping her and a number of other young females. The 14-year-old explained that HAMPTON was having the girls post ads on Craigslist advertising their sexual services and having them prostitute themselves on the streets. In the course of the investigation the FBI learned that from approximately 2006 until his arrest on June 24, 2008, HAMPTON supported himself through pimping these young females and selling drugs. On at least three occasions, HAMPTON took one or more of the victims from Washington to Portland, Oregon, for them to engage in prostitution. All of the victims were required to give HAMPTON the money made from prostitution. HAMPTON told one victim that they were a “family” and he was their “financial consultant”. HAMPTON provided the victims, all of whom were juvenile runaways, a place to live, food, alcohol, and drugs. He was also their protector against other pimps who might try to coerce victims to work for them. When the victims made lots of money they were rewarded by being allowed to sleep with him.
In addition to exploiting the young women in prostitution, HAMPTON would have them package and deliver cocaine and crack cocaine to customers. According to several of the victims, HAMPTON kept the drugs in a purse with the identification of one of the girls to avoid the drugs being associated with him. He convinced the victims to carry the drugs by telling them he was on probation with the State of Washington and would go back to prison if he were caught with the drugs. Once HAMPTON gained influence and control over the victims he would threaten them or use violence to ensure that they were making money for them. He beat several of the victims because he was upset that they were not following his rules.
In his sentencing memorandum, Assistant United States Attorney, Bruce F. Miyake, described how HAMPTON preyed upon young vulnerable girls because he could easily manipulate and control them. Through his actions, HAMPTON placed these girls at great risk of physical, psychological, and emotional harm by exposing them to the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and physical assaults by the customers. HAMPTON also damaged the victims’ self esteem by leading them to believe their primary worth was as a sex object. As a result of this exploitation, HAMPTON has left them with permanent psychological and emotional scars. For example, one of the victims has nightmares of being beaten by HAMPTON and has negative flashbacks of sexual encounters when she drives past a motel or a hotel.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Bruce F. Miyake and Matthew Thomas of the United States Attorney’s Office. The FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force is a task force of FBI and local law enforcement dedicated to the investigation of sex trafficking of minors.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.