Co-Founder and Leader of a Violent Drug and Sex Trafficking Gang called the “Sevens,” Sentenced to Life Plus a Consecutive Ten Years
PHILADELPHIA – Deputy United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen announced that Dkyle Bridges, 35, of Claymont, DE, was sentenced to 35 years in prison, ten years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $53,000 in restitution to his victims and a special assessment of $30,000 under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act by United States District Court Judge Nitza I. Alejandro-Quiñones for running a multi-state sex trafficking operation that brutally victimized vulnerable young women and girls for many years.
In April 2019, following a two-week jury trial, the defendant was found guilty of all charges, specifically: one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion and in sex trafficking of minors; two counts of sex trafficking of adults by force, fraud, and coercion; and three counts of sex trafficking of minors by force, fraud, and coercion.
The evidence presented at trial showed that for more than five years, Bridges led a sex trafficking operation for his financial gain in which he coerced young women and girls to engage in commercial sex acts in southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and elsewhere. Bridges preyed on vulnerable teenage girls and young women, many of whom were homeless, who needed financial and emotional support in their lives. Bridges lured them into his trafficking circle with false promises of that kind of support and then subjected them to violence – as well as fear of violence -- by making them watch him assault other trafficking victims. Among the tactics Bridges used to abuse and control his victims, as described at trial, included pouring water over them to keep them awake, choking them, and otherwise physically assaulting them. On at least one occasion, he tased his victim in the chest.
In furtherance of the sex trafficking enterprise, Bridges advertised his victims for sex acts using Backpage.com – a website that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has since shut down for its role in advertising and promoting sex trafficking.
Codefendants Kristian and Anthony Jones, among others, assisted Bridges in various capacities in running the sex trafficking operation, including by recruiting and transporting victims, collecting money, and paying for hotel rooms. The codefendants were also convicted at trial and are scheduled to be sentenced later this year.
“Bridges’ crimes were devastating to his victims, who were already facing tremendous challenges in their lives, such as homelessness and a history of abuse,” said Deputy U.S. Attorney Lappen. “Today’s sentence of thirty-five years incarceration reflects the seriousness of his crimes and the irrevocable damage he caused, all in pursuit of financial gain. We will continue to work collectively to investigate and prosecute these destructive crimes committed against some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
“Dkyle Bridges advertised underage girls and women for sex, profiting from their exploitation,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “These victims were controlled by the constant use or threat of violence, battered both physically and emotionally. Today’s sentence keeps Bridges exactly where he belongs — behind bars, being held to account for his repulsive actions. Know that the FBI and our law enforcement partners are working every day to shut down sex traffickers like this and deliver justice for their victims.”
The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from Tinicum Township Police Department; Newark, Delaware Police Department; Delaware State Police; Delaware River Bay Authority; and Philadelphia Police Department and was prosecuted by Department of Justice Trial Attorney Jessica Urban and Assistant United States Attorney Priya T. De Souza.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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