Skip to main content
Press Release

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking By Force, Fraud, And Coercion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Henry Lee White, III (27, Orlando) has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion and to possessing ammunition as a convicted a felon. White faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 15, 2022.

According to the plea agreement, from June 2020 to January 2021, White forced and coerced Victim 1 to engage in commercial sex throughout the Middle District of Florida and Georgia. He used threats of violence and physical violence to control Victim 1, who was 20 years old. For example, in or around September 2020, White took Victim 1 to an “outcall” at an unknown apartment complex. White became upset because he thought Victim 1 was being deceptive about where she was going and used his revolver to beat Victim 1. He then removed four of the five bullets from the revolver and played Russian Roulette with Victim 1 while holding the gun to her head and pulling the trigger. Victim 1 stated White did this about six or seven times. He then threw Victim 1’s phone at her face, causing a laceration on the center of her forehead.

Ultimately, Victim 1 reached out to law enforcement and a local non-governmental organization for assistance. Law enforcement officers recovered Victim 1 during a joint undercover operation on January 7, 2021. At the time Victim 1 was recovered by law enforcement officers, she had an injury on her left knee that she sustained after White had thrown her to the ground in a hotel.

At the time of his arrest, White was in possession of a chrome and burgundy semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine. The firearm had one round in the chamber and several live rounds in the magazine. White knew that he had previously been convicted of several felonies and was not allowed to possess a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.

This case was brought as part of the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force of the Middle District of Florida, which is one of 13 task forces in the country to receive grant funding from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Task Force is a collaboration of local, state, and federal law enforcement agents working together with organizations to detect, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking in the Tampa Bay area. This includes trafficking of minors, forced labor, transnational sex trafficking, and sex trafficking of adults by force, fraud, or coercion. More information about the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force can be found at Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at

Updated January 31, 2022

Human Trafficking
Firearms Offenses