Hartford Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ROMANE ST. CHRISTOPHER McKENZIE, also known as “Wookie,” “Rude” and “Rude Boy,” 24, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for sex trafficking of a minor.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 18, 2014, a case worker with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families informed the Enfield Police Department that a 15-year-old girl was advertising prostitution services on Backpage.com. The advertisement listed the girl’s location as Enfield. Later that day, Enfield police contacted the number in the advertisement and engaged in a ruse negotiation to purchase the girl’s services. At the conclusion, the police were told to go to a local motel where they encountered the minor victim in a room. The room contained evidence of prostitution and was rented by McKENZIE. McKENZIE, who was present at the motel, was arrested at that time.
The investigation revealed evidence that McKENZIE knew that the minor victim was 15-years-old, that he had paid for Backpage.com advertisements on behalf of the minor victim and others, and that he trafficked the minor victim and others at motels in Enfield and Windsor Locks. The investigation included analysis of numerous text messages between McKENZIE and the minor victim, and between the minor victim and prospective prostitution clients. The investigation also revealed that McKENZIE sold crack cocaine to the minor victim.
McKENZIE has been detained since his arrest. On August 2, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a minor.
McKENZIE, a citizen of Jamaica, faces immigration proceedings when he is released from prison.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Enfield Police Department, with the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vanessa Richards and David Novick.