Three Convicted at Trial of Sex Trafficking of Minors and Others
PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Dkyle Jamal Bridges, Kristian Jones, and Anthony Jones were convicted of sex trafficking of minors and sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, as well as conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking following a three-week trial.
From 2012 through September 2017, Bridges led a prostitution enterprise in which various women and girls performed commercial sex acts in southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and elsewhere for Bridges’ financial benefit. Bridges frequently used violence and threats to cause the female victims to engage in the commercial sex acts. Kristian and Anthony Jones, among others, assisted Bridges in various capacities in running the business, including by recruiting and transporting victims, collecting money, and paying for hotel rooms.
In November 2016, a Tinicum Township police officer stopped a vehicle that had recently left a hotel known to be frequented by individuals engaged in prostitution. The driver admitted to the officer that he had just met a prostitute at the hotel and had arranged the “date” through a website called Backpage.com. Law enforcement went to the room that the customer had visited, and discovered Kristian Jones, two minor girls, condoms, and cell phones containing communications with Bridges about the prostitution business. The room had been rented by Anthony Jones.
That same month, a Newark, Delaware police officer, acting in an undercover capacity, responded to a Backpage.com ad offering commercial sex. When law enforcement arrived at the hotel for the “date,” they found a woman and a girl. In July 2017, the Philadelphia Police conducted a similar undercover operation, and when they arrived for the “date,” they found two adult women in the hotel room and Bridges waiting in his car. All of the victims were fraudulently promised payment by Bridges and once enlisted in his trafficking circle, they were subjected to Bridges’ violent acts or feared him based on observing his violence against others. Thus, all were trafficked by force, fraud, and coercion.
“Bridges’ years of trafficking women and girls by force and manipulation, and with the willing assistance of others, are over,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Sex trafficking is a pervasive problem that demands an aggressive response. We stand ready with our federal partners to identify and dismantle organizations that perpetuate this abuse.”
“That these men felt they had the right to sexually exploit girls and women for money is abhorrent,” said Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners are working every day to put people like this behind bars and ensure some justice for their victims. We would ask anyone with knowledge of child or adult sex trafficking to let us know about it – anonymously, if need be. Call 1-800-CALL-FBI or go online to tips.fbi.gov.”
The case was investigated by FBI Philadelphia with assistance from the Tinicum Township Police Department; Newark, Delaware Police Department; Delaware State Police; and Philadelphia Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Priya DeSouza and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Jessica Urban.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.