NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that DAJANAE DRAKE, age 29, from Missouri City, Texas, pleaded guilty on October 6, 2022, before United States District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon to a one-count bill of information charging her with obstruction, attempted obstruction, and interference with the enforcement of the federal criminal sex trafficking statute, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1591(d).
According to court documents, Person 1, then approximately sixteen years old, met Randi Lewis in about early 2020. Lewis recruited Person 1,a female, to engage in commercial sex acts under his direction, and she complied. In about June 2021, Lewis and Person 1 met the minor victim, who was thirteen years old, in the Houston, Texas area. At Lewis’s direction, Person 1 recruited the victim to perform commercial sex acts, which would also be under Lewis’s direction. Thereafter, Lewis arranged for he, Person 1, and the minor victim to travel to New Orleans on a Greyhound bus for the purpose of his co-conspirator and the victim to engage in commercial sex acts. Between June 22, 2021, and June 24, 2021, Person 1 and the minor victim performed multiple commercial sex acts in the New Orleans area. On June 24, 2021, law enforcement authorities recovered the victim and arrested Person 1 and Lewis at a hotel in Terrytown, Louisiana. Thereafter, Person 1 and Lewis were charged criminally and incarcerated.
Between June 25, 2021, and about November 28, 2021, DRAKE held numerous telephone conversations with Person 1 and Lewis, including several conversations during which DRAKE knowingly encouraged Person 1 to sign a false affidavit saying that Lewis played no role in recruiting and trafficking the minor victim. DRAKE did so with the purpose of obstructing the enforcement of criminal law, including Title 18, United States Code, Section 1591.
DRAKE faces a maximum term of twenty-five (25) years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, up to five (5) years of supervised release after imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee per count. Sentencing before Judge Lemmon has been scheduled for January 19, 2023.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.