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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cleveland Man Pleads Guilty to Transporting Minors to California to Engage in Commercial Sex Acts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Jarrail Lamont Smith, 23, of Cleveland, Ohio, pleaded guilty today to two counts of interstate transportation of a minor for the purpose of prostitution, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, in August 2015, Smith traveled from Cleveland to California with two minor victims with the expectation that they would engage in commercial sex acts with others for his benefit. Once they arrived in Northern California, he directed them to post advertisements for sexual services online. The investigation revealed multiple advertisements posted in the Bay area and Sacramento that featured photographs of both victims. After receiving a tip that one of the minors was being trafficked at a motel in Sacramento, the FBI initiated a sting operation to recover her. The operation was successful, and agents also found the other minor victim in the same hotel room. One of the minors had two black eyes when the FBI located her.

This case is the product of an investigation by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which is made up of FBI agents and detectives from the Sacramento Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michele Beckwith is prosecuting the case.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley on August 4, 2016. Smith faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Human Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
2:15-cr-188 TLN
Updated May 5, 2016