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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 27, 2015

Boston Street Gang Members Plead Guilty to Sex Trafficking of Minors

BOSTON – Two Boston men, alleged to be members of Boston’s Thetford Avenue Buffalos, have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to sex trafficking four minors.

Today, Anthony Pledger, also known as “Polo,” 27, pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of two minors before United States District Judge William G. Young.  On Feb. 11, 2015, a co-defendant, Miriam Kizzie, also known as “Keys,” 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of two minors before Judge Young.  Pledger and Kizzie were charged in the same indictment in February 2014.

At the change of plea hearing today, Pledger admitted that, in October 2013, he brought two minors, aged 16 and 15 at the time, from Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island, intending to have them engage in prostitution.  The minors were rescued by Rhode Island and Massachusetts police officers before any prostitution occurred.

At the change of plea hearing on Feb. 11, 2015, Kizzie admitted that, for approximately a week in July 2013, he caused two different minors, aged 14 and 15, to be advertised online for prostitution and engage in prostitution primarily in Dorchester, Mass.

According to documents filed with the court, both Pledger and Kizzie were alleged to be members of the Thetford Avenue Buffalos, a local Boston street gang.

Pursuant to a proposed binding plea agreement, Pledger faces a mandatory sentencing range of 120 months to 204 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.  Also pursuant to a proposed binding plea agreement, Kizzie faces a mandatory sentencing range of 135 to 153 months, to be followed by five years of supervised release.  If the Court accepts the plea agreements, he will determine the sentences within those ranges.  The sentencing hearing for Kizzie has been set for May 4, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.  The sentencing hearing for Pledger has been set for May 28, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans made the announcement today.  The case was also investigated by the Rhode Island State Police, Massachusetts State Police, and the Providence, Brockton, Dedham and Brookline Police Departments.  Significant assistance was provided by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, and Plymouth, Middlesex and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offices.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Harman Burkart and Timothy E. Moran of Ortiz’s Civil Rights Enforcement Team.

Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case should call 617-748-3274, and messages will be promptly returned.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated December 18, 2015