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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 20, 2018

Baltimore Man Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison For Sex Trafficking Of A Minor

April 20, 2018                                                                                    

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              Contact ELIZABETH MORSE

www.justice.gov/usao/md                                                      at (410) 209-4885

 

Baltimore, Maryland – Chief Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Al Samuel Lawson, age 32, of Baltimore, Maryland to 14 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release for sex trafficking of a minor related to the trafficking of a 15-year-old female and a 16-year-old female for prostitution in Maryland.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Baltimore Field Office; Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department; State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger of the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

According to Lawson’s plea agreement, on February 10, 2016, members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force were conducting a proactive operation in search of juveniles engaging in prostitution.  After making contact with two identified adult prostitutes, the females stated that they knew of a minor female who was currently engaging in prostitution.  The women showed the Task Force members an advertisement on the website Backpage.com of another adult female that was known to be working as a prostitute with the minor female. Task Force members reviewed this advertisement and identified the adult female, Female 1, as a known prostitute with whom they had numerous previous contacts.

Task Force members approached the younger female and identified her as a fifteen-year-old juvenile, Minor 1.  Internet advertisements for prostitution on the website Backpage.com identified Minor 1 under the name “Asia.”  Minor 1 admitted to law enforcement that she had been prostituting for approximately one month at the direction of Lawson.  Investigators identified several other females, including another minor female, Minor 2, who also engaged in prostitution at the direction of Lawson, starting when she was fifteen years old.

Female 1 was contacted and informed that her “date” was outside in a pickup truck and Female 1 came outside to meet them.  A Baltimore County Police detective acting in an undercover capacity, spoke with Female 1 in his vehicle and she agreed to give him oral sex for $100.  Female 1 directed the detective to drive to the hotel next door so they could “do it”.  At that time, the detective identified himself as law enforcement and Female 1 was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. 

Minor 1 admitted to law enforcement that she had been prostituting for approximately one month at the direction of Lawson.  Investigators identified several other females, including another minor female, Minor 2, who also engaged in prostitution at the direction of Lawson.  Minor 2 started doing prostitution dates when she was fifteen years old.

Some of these prostitution encounters engaged in by Minor 1, Minor 2, and other females at the direction of Lawson occurred at the residence of Lawson’s co-defendant, Nichole Carey, in Essex, Maryland.

Minor 1 reported that she, and the other women, gave 50% of the money from the prostitution encounters to Lawson and that Lawson knew the two victims were minors.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended FBI Baltimore, the Baltimore County Police Department, the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Ayn Ducao, Rachel Yasser and Michael Cunningham, who prosecuted the case.

 

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Updated April 20, 2018