Jury Convicts Memphis Man for Sex Trafficking of Minors
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that a federal jury has convicted TIMOTHY JONES, a/k/a “Lucci,” “King Lucci,” “Lucci Loco,” age 25, from Memphis, for his role in sex trafficking two minors into the New Orleans area for the purposes of those minors engaging in prostitution. The jury convicted JONES on all eight counts with which he was charged, including conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking two minor females through the use of force, fraud, and coercion, transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of her engaging in prostitution.
“As proven at trial, Jones engaged in the sex trafficking of minors and used violence as a means of coercion,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “He will now spend at least 15 years in prison for his reprehensible actions.”
According to evidence presented at trial, in early December 2013, JONES met and began recruiting Minor Victim 1, a 17-year-old female from Baton Rouge, to work for him in prostitution, performing numerous “dates” per day, based on quotas he set for her. For approximately three weeks, Minor Victim 1 worked for him, before escaping the New Orleans area.
In early January 2014, JONES and a co-conspirator recruited Minor Victim 2, a sixteen-year-old female, in Memphis and coerced her to work for him in prostitution. JONES then took Minor Victim 2 to Louisville, Kentucky, to work in prostitution. Thereafter, JONES transported Minor Victim 2 to New Orleans to work for him in prostitution. Minor Victim 2 worked for JONES until February 11, 2014, when a United States Marshals Task Force recovered her and arrested JONES at a hotel in downtown New Orleans.
JONES required Victim 1 and Victim 2 to give him all of the money they earned from engaging in prostitution. JONES advertised prostitution dates with Victim 1 and Victim 2 using an online classified website and also forced them to solicit prostitution dates on Bourbon Street and on Chef Menteur Highway. JONES “paid” Minor Victim 1 a total of $10 for her work. JONES instructed both victims on how much to charge for sex, how to solicit “dates,” and how to avoid detection by law enforcement. He also instructed them to steal credit cards, wallets, cash, and other valuables from customers. Other females testified at trial that JONES exploited them in a similar manner.
JONES used a variety of means to control his victims, whom he knew were minors. JONES beat Victim 1 and Victim 2 to punish them for disrespecting him or not earning enough money. He also slapped and punched them to keep them from leaving him. Further, while in front of Minor Victim 1 and Minor Victim 2, JONES brutally beat other females who worked for him as prostitutes as a means of threatening and intimidating his minor victims into complying with his demands.
JONES faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of fifteen years and a maximum sentence of life in prison for his crimes. Sentencing before Judge Martin L.C. Feldman has been scheduled for June 29, 2016, at 1:30 pm.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – New Orleans Division and the United States Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, with cooperation from the FBI’s Memphis Field Office in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Ginsberg and Jonathan L. Shih were in charge of the prosecution.