Allentown Man Sentenced To More Than 24 Years For Sex Trafficking
PHILADELPHIA - Deshawn King, 35, of Allentown, PA, was sentenced today to years 293 months in prison for running a sex trafficking operation, incorporating heroin as a means of punishing and controlling the victims. King pleaded guilty on January 10, 2014 to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of women by force, fraud, and coercion; two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; and two counts of attempted sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion. King’s co-defendant, Daniel Blount, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced on July 15, 2014 to 20 years in prison.
Between October 2012 and April 2013, King and Blount recruited and enticed heroin-addicted women to perform commercial sex acts at their direction by promising a continuous supply of money and heroin. The defendants used the website “backpage.com” to post sexually explicit photos of the women in advertising them for commercial sex acts. “Johns” (men wanting to have sex with the recruited women) called the telephone number posted in the ad and met the women at hotels designated and paid for by the defendants. King and Blount provided heroin to the women as a means of control or withheld the heroin as a form of punishment, causing the women to suffer withdrawal; used physical force, including a taser, and threats of force against the women to cause or attempt to cause them to continue performing commercial sex acts; and received and kept all the proceeds generated by the women engaging in commercial sex acts. The defendants also threatened to kill at least two of the victims and took turns raping at least one of the victims.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge James Knoll Gardner ordered 15 years of supervised release, a $1,000 fine and a $500 special assessment.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Allentown Police Department and the Office of the Lehigh County District Attorney. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sherri A. Stephan.