LITTLE ROCK—Patrick C. Harris, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today Dana “Big Face” Deffenbaugh, 36, of Little Rock, was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment for sex trafficking of a minor.
United States District Judge J. Leon Holmes also sentenced Deffenbaugh, who was known to prostitute multiple women, to 10 years of supervised release.
Deffenbaugh was indicted on two counts of sex trafficking on January 6, 2015. On September 19, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a minor.
“Sex trafficking is a problem throughout the United States,” Harris said. “The exploitation of a minor causes irreparable harm that is lasting. Even though this sentence does not erase the pain that the defendant has caused, it does send a strong message. There is no hesitation on our part to prosecute Deffenbaugh and criminals like him as vigorously as we can.”
The investigation began in December 2014, when the North Little Rock Police Department received a tip that a minor was being held against her will at a hotel and forced to prostitute by someone known as “Big Face.” The 17-year-old had been introduced to Deffenbaugh, who immediately told her “you my ho” and “you work for me now.” He then supplied the minor with drugs, had sex with her, and told her things such as she “does not exist no more” and “you have no outside life.”
Further investigation revealed that the minor and other female victims who worked for Deffenbaugh were forced to have sex with men who located their services on the now-defunct website Backpage.com. Each female saw an average of 15 customers a day, sometimes as many as 25, often with little to no sleep. The women then had to turn their money over to Deffenbaugh or face beatings. Deffenbaugh referred to himself as “Big Face” in reference to “big face hundred dollar bills.”
“Today’s sentencing of Deffenbaugh should make it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that engaging in child prostitution and human trafficking of a minor is intolerable and unacceptable,” Upchurch said. “I appreciate the collaborative efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office and the North Little Rock Police Department.”
This investigation was conducted by the FBI and the North Little Rock Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Allison W. Bragg and Kristin Bryant.