RALEIGH, N.C. – United States Attorney Michael Easley, in recognition of Human Trafficking Prevention Month, highlights some of the significant Human Trafficking cases his office prosecuted in 2021. Links to press releases with more details on these cases are also provided.
USA v. Jonathan Jenkins and Antoine Wallace (No. 5:18-CR-451-D)
The investigating agencies in this case were Homeland Security Investigations, Raleigh Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. Antoine Lamar Wallace of Garner was sentenced to 156 months in prison, on September 8, 2021, for sex trafficking a minor and aiding and abetting and his co-defendant, Jonathan Lynn Jenkins, of Smithfield, received three consecutive life sentences, on August 4, 2021, after being found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion and of a minor; sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion; sex trafficking of a minor; using the internet to promote a prostitution business enterprise (ITAR); and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Jenkins was also ordered to pay over $1,000,000 in restitution to multiple victims.
USA v. Jesse Marks (No. 7:19-CR-127-D)
The investigating agencies in this case were the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jacksonville Police Department. Jesse Gabriel Marks of Jacksonville was sentenced to 360 months in prison, on May 7, 2021, for sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion and ordered to pay $249,700 in restitution to multiple victims. According to court documents and other information presented in court, Marks, prostituted hundreds of women, including at least one minor, over nearly two decades. He used drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine, to keep them dependent on and prostituting for him. After meeting Marks, many victims either developed addictions or deepened their addictions, ruining their health and, in many cases, their lives. Marks physically and emotionally abused many of the victims. He also gave women drug cocktails without their full knowledge and, once they were unconscious or nearly unconscious, sexually assaulted them. He recorded many of those sexual assaults on video.
USA v. Kevin Rudolph and Marcus Gambrell (No. 5:19-CR-336-FL)
The investigating agencies in this case were the Raleigh Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations.
Marcus Antwan Gambrell, 30, of Raleigh, was sentenced to 210 months in prison, on December 21, 2021, for manufacturing child pornography. Gambrell and co-defendant Kevin Rudolph were charged in a four-count superseding indictment on April 7, 2020. The indictment charged both men with sex trafficking of a minor and using the internet to promote prostitution, Gambrell with manufacturing child pornography, and Rudolph with possession of a firearm by a felon. Gambrell pled guilty to the manufacturing charge on January 19, 2021. Rudolph pled not guilty, and he is awaiting trial on May 16, 2022. An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
USA v. Marvarlus Snead and Ashanti McLean (No. 7:19-CR-151-D)
The investigating agencies in this case were the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Marvarlus Cortel Snead, of Four Oaks, was sentenced to 420 months in prison and a life term of supervised release, on June 21, 2021, for sex trafficking of a minor and using the internet to promote a prostitution business enterprise (ITAR). On December 17, 2020, Snead was convicted of the charges after a four-day jury trial. Snead was also ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution to the minor victim. McLean pleaded guilty to using the internet to promote a prostitution business enterprise (ITAR) and received a concurrent sentence (serving 8 years on her state charges.)
The above cases are a sampling of the investigations this office prosecuted in 2021 and an example of the serious problem Human Trafficking possess in North Carolina.
For anyone who needs the assistance of the National Human Trafficking Hotline they can be reached at 1-888-373-7888; text “BeFree” 233733 or by live chat at humantraffickinghotline.org.
A copy of this press release is located on our website.