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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 22, 2016

Grand Jury Indicts Man for Sex Trafficking of Children, Production of Child Pornography and Drug Charges

NORFOLK, Va. – Joshua Manuel Treat, 20, of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges of sex trafficking of children, use of interstate commerce in furtherance of prostitution, production of child pornography, and distribution of drugs to a person under 21 years old.

According to the allegations in the indictment and other court documents, from September 26 to October 12, Treat posted Jane Doe, a 14-year-old girl, on an Internet website and advertised her for prostitution.  In order to make Jane Doe more amenable to prostitution, Treat would administer heroin with a needle prior to Jane Doe’s appointments with customers. 

Treat faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after the indictment was returned by the grand jury.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Yusi is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:16-cr-172.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Human Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood
Updated December 22, 2016