Two Prattville Men Sentenced for Sex Trafficking of a Minor
Montgomery, Alabama – Two Prattville men were sentenced today to more than 16 years in prison for the sex trafficking of minors, announced United States Attorney Louis Franklin, Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan, Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson, Special Agent in Charge Jere T. Miles of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New Orleans, and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.
Michael Graham Lowe, 25, was sentenced to serve 220 months in prison for the sex trafficking of a minor and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor. Joshua David Rose, 30, was sentenced to serve 200 months for the sex trafficking of a minor. There is no parole in the federal system. Both Lowe and Rose were also ordered to serve 15 years of supervised release upon the completion of their prison sentences. In addition, they were both ordered to pay restitution to their victims.
Rose had previously pled guilty in August 2017 and Lowe was found guilty after a four-day trial in February 2018.
The investigation was initiated by the Prattville Police Department and showed that in May 2016, Lowe, along with Rose, trafficked a minor victim out of a motel in Montgomery. Evidence presented at trial showed that Rose, with the assistance of Lowe, advertised the victim on the classified advertising website Backpage.com, arranged meetings for the victim to engage in commercial sex acts, and stood watch outside of the motel room while the victim engaged in commercial sex acts. Testimony showed that Lowe also transported the minor victim to another location to engage in a commercial sex act and that Lowe and Rose used the profits to purchase illegal narcotics.
“There is no place in our community for those who prey on children,” stated U.S. Attorney Franklin. “I hope that these sentences send a clear message that exploiting and prostituting a child will not be tolerated. I am grateful for the hard work of everyone involved in this case, but I would like to extend a special thank you to the Prattville Police Department, who initiated this investigation. I pledge that my office will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners to bring predators like these to justice.”
“Michael Lowe and Joshua Rose preyed on and trafficked a minor girl, using Backpage.com to arrange meetings for the victim to engage in sex for money that the defendants used to purchase illegal narcotics,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan. “Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the prosecutors and agents who worked on this very important case, Rose and Lowe will be held accountable for their reprehensible crimes, and some measure of justice has been achieved for the victim they so cruelly exploited.”
“The Prattville Police Department is grateful for the relationship we have with the U.S Attorney’s Office and all the agencies involved in this case,” stated Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson. “These sentences should send a strong message to anyone committing these types of crimes that we will work hard to find you and send you to prison. We are very proud of our Criminal Intelligent Unit for the effort they put into this case. It shows that Prattville PD is very proactive and we will continue to develop better ways to combat crime.”
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and the threats and abuse inflicted on these particular victims only adds to the heinous nature of the crime,” said Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security New Orleans Jere T. Miles. “HSI is committed to working with our federal, state and local partners to find and prosecute criminal traffickers while ensuring the victims of this terrible crime are rescued and get the care they need.”
“These men cruelly exploited the vulnerability of their young victim and the severity of their crimes more than warrants the long prison sentences they have received,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall. “Human trafficking is a horrific crime that traps its victims in a life of misery and abuse. This prosecution was the result of a long and painstaking investigation by many agents and officers. I applaud the diligence of the Prattville Police Department, which initiated these cases, working with agents of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and assisted by the Montgomery Police Department. I also want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its successful prosecution to bring these criminals to justice. As Alabama’s Attorney General, I am committed to continue this kind of cooperative and dedicated teamwork among agencies, which is the key to making our state a safer place.”
This case was jointly investigated by the Prattville Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the United States Marshal’s Service and Montgomery Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hollie Worley Reed of the Middle District of Alabama and Trial Attorney Leslie Williams Fisher of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.