United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
Tacoma Man Sentenced to Prison for Human Trafficking
Forced Young Women into Prostitution and Profited From the Sex Trade
LASHAD ALEXANDER, 24, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to nine years in prison, three years of supervised release and $130,000 in restitution for human trafficking. ALEXANDER pleaded guilty in February 2011, admitting he forced a young woman to work as a prostitute in the Tacoma area, and financially benefitted from the prostitution acts. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan said, “this is just terrible… It amounts to slavery. Society cannot allow it.”
The court documents establish that LASHAD ALEXANDER had recruited a juvenile female in 2005 to engage in acts of prostitution, and that this female worked as a prostitute for him until his arrest March 29, 2010. The female victim is now an adult. ALEXANDER assisted the victim’s prostitution activities by purchasing clothing, condoms, and cellular telephones for her to use while working. ALEXANDER also bought debit cards for the victim to use to post sex advertisements on the internet. ALEXANDER rented motel rooms for prostitution. The victim had to provide ALEXANDER with her earnings from her work as a prostitute. On some occasions, ALEXANDER struck the victim and caused her to believe that she would suffer serious harm if she did not earn money for him as a prostitute. Today ALEXANDER was ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution to the victim.
In April 2010, ALEXANDER was initially charged by Complaint based on his arrest on March 29, 2010, by Lakewood Police officers after the police recovered a 17-year-old woman from a motel room. The 17-year old had called her brother for help because she was not allowed to leave the motel room. She subsequently identified ALEXANDER as the pimp who was forcing her to engage in sex acts for money over a two week period.
In asking for a significant prison sentence, prosecutors wrote to the court, “the defendant used violence and the threat of violence to make (the primary victim) and the other victims work for him. …the defendant admits that he obtained and acquired the prostitution earnings made by (the victim) for his personal financial gain, even when (she) was a minor. (The victim) reported that the use of force and coercion to ensure this continuing financial stream escalated during her last year of prostitution with the defendant.”
The investigative agencies involved in this case were the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lakewood Police Department, Tacoma Police Department, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Divisions.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ye-Ting Woo, Catherine Crisham, and Matthew Thomas.