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Press Release

Brooklyn Man Pleads Guilty to Murder and Sex Trafficking Eight Women

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Prosecution Is the First Use of Federal Statute Criminalizing Murder in the Course of Sex trafficking

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Somorie Moses, also known as “Somorie Barfield,” “Sugar Bear,” “Bear” and “Daddy,” pleaded guilty in the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to sex trafficking eight women and to the 2017 murder of one of the women, Leondra Foster.  The plea proceeding took place before United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon.  When sentenced, Moses faces a mandatory term of imprisonment of 15 years, and up to life in prison.  This prosecution is the first use of the federal statute criminalizing murder in the course of sex trafficking. 

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Edward A. Caban, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD) announced the guilty plea.

“With today’s guilty plea to every count in the indictment, Moses is held fully responsible for preying on women and girls, forcing them to become prostitutes, and then brutally murdering and dismembering one of his many victims,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “While the defendant’s total admission of guilt cannot undo the terrible harm he has caused, we hope it will bring a measure of closure to his victims who suffered the defendant’s extreme cruelty and brutality, and to the family of Ms. Foster.”

Mr. Peace also expressed his appreciation to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance.

“Moses exploited vulnerable women and robbed them of their freedom and dignity for his own personal gain, and even brutally robbed one woman of her life”, stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith.  “Stopping human trafficking remains a top priority of the FBI and our partners, and we hope that this plea will result in some solace for the survivors to know that Moses will pay for his crimes and no longer be able to harm anyone else.”

“Today’s guilty plea brings finality to a case of reprehensible sexual exploitation, brutal assault, and murder,” stated NYPD Commissioner Caban. “I commend and thank our dedicated NYPD detectives, along with our partners in the FBI and the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, for their commitment to investigating and prosecuting this important case.”

According to court filings and admissions made in court, since at least 2003, Moses forced women and girls, including minors, into prostitution for his benefit using violence, threats of violence, and psychological manipulation. Moses used false promises of love and marriage to initiate sexual relationships with his victims before demanding that they work as prostitutes and turn over the money they earned to him.  Moses pressured many of his victims into tattooing his first name, “Somorie,” on their bodies. 

Moses used brutal beatings, rape, torture, and threats to coerce his victims to work in prostitution in Brooklyn and Queens.  When one victim, identified at today’s guilty plea proceeding as Jane Doe 1, refused to engage in prostitution, Moses used a taser against her until she complied.  Another victim, identified as Jane Doe 2, was slashed on her arms and back with a razor by Moses who also beat her with a belt before pouring lemon juice on her wounds, leaving her permanently scarred.  When a victim identified as Jane Doe 7 told Moses that she did not want to work as a prostitute, he put a shotgun in her mouth and threatened to kill her and her child.

On January 13, 2017, Moses murdered Leondra Foster, one of his sex trafficking victims.  That same day, using a knife and a saw, Moses dismembered Foster’s body inside their shared apartment in Brooklyn.  Four days later, on the morning of January 17, 2017, Moses transported Foster’s torso and limbs to the Bronx for disposal at a sanitation site.  Foster’s head, hands and feet — including a foot with the name “Somorie” tattooed on it — were subsequently recovered by law enforcement inside the deep freezer of Moses’s apartment. 

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Rights Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Siegel and Tanya Hajjar are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from paralegal specialist Anna November.

The Defendant:

SOMORIE MOSES (also known as “Somorie Barfield,” “Sugar Bear,” “Bear” and “Daddy”)
Age:  47
, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-232 (CBA)


John Marzulli                                         
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated September 15, 2023

Violent Crime
Human Trafficking