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Press Release

Notorious Human Trafficker Who Forced Victims into Prostitution Sentenced to 30 Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Kashamba John, 32, of Atlanta, GA, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, 10 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $23,299 by United States District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno for running a national sex trafficking ring, in which he and others forced vulnerable women and girls to travel and prostitute themselves in multiple states. As part of his sentence, the defendant must also register as a sex offender.

In May 2019, the defendant was convicted after trial of conspiring to commit sex trafficking; sex trafficking by fraud, force, or coercion; and transporting individuals in interstate commerce with the intent that the individuals engage in prostitution. Between July 2011 and October 2016, John ran a national sex trafficking ring, selling the bodies of women and girls in Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Georgia, North Carolina, and elsewhere. Conspiring with others, John targeted under-aged runaways, homeless women, and women battling substance abuse in order to manipulate them into prostitution for his benefit. One of John’s victims was rescued by the Pennsylvania State Police when an Uber driver, trained in recognizing sex trafficking victims through her church, flagged down a state trooper when she suspected that the passenger in her vehicle was likely a victim. Two other victims of the defendant were teenagers at the time John trafficked them by force.

“The defendant’s actions in this case were thoroughly vile and disgusting,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Kashamba John preyed upon people he knew would be the most vulnerable, and therefore the easiest for him to control and manipulate into doing his bidding. Now he will spend decades in prison, where he will no longer be able to do harm to anyone else.”

“Sadly, sex trafficking is a scourge that still plagues communities all across the United States, including right here in Philadelphia. Today’s sentencing of Mr. John sends a strong message that this form of violent modern day sex slavery will not be tolerated,” said Brian A. Michael, Special Agent in Charge for HSI Philadelphia. “HSI Philadelphia and our law enforcement partners will continue to be at the forefront of fighting all forms of human trafficking; not only ensuring these traffickers are held responsible for their vile criminal acts, but also helping the victims reclaim their lives.”

“We won’t tolerate this type of treatment of our fellow human beings,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “My office will continue to work with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute these cases and keep communities safe from predators like John.”

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Melanie Babb Wilmoth and Sarah Damiani.


615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Updated October 28, 2020

Human Trafficking