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Press Release

Federal Jury Finds Jacksonville Human Trafficking Customer Guilty Of Using Underage “Models” To Produce Child Pornography

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

Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that a federal jury has found Thomas Leslie Carr (49, Jacksonville) guilty of using underage “models” to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing pornographic images and videos. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, up to 30 years, in federal prison on each of the two charges. Carr has been in custody since his arrest and a sentencing hearing is set for September 21, 2017.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, in 2012, law enforcement officers began a human trafficking investigation involving the prostitution of minor and adult females throughout the state of Florida, by an individual named Michael Gallon (52, Lakeland). The investigation revealed that Gallon had recruited his victims to travel and work at “parties” and “VIP rooms” as “models,” where customers paid to have sex with them. During the investigation, agents identified and interviewed several female victims who had been prostituted by Gallon; Carr was identified as one of his regular customers.

 

On October 28, 2013, Gallon was arrested and charged with sex trafficking of minors and production of child pornography. Two weeks later, a federal search warrant was executed at Carr’s residence. During an interview, Carr admitted that he had hired about 15 girls from Gallon over a three-year period. He stated that Gallon called him when he had girls available in Jacksonville and that the two would meet so that Carr could pay Gallon to select girls to take back to his residence. At his home, Carr paid the females for photos session that usually consisted of photographing the female wearing an outfit, stripping nude, and then wearing a costume. He stated that he usually tried to get the female to masturbate for him on video, then he would attempt to have sex with her. If the female was reluctant, Carr would offer her more money.

During the search of Carr’s residence, agents recovered computer media that contained images and videos of at least two minors, ages 15 and 17, engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Car admitted to doing “photo shoots” with each of these girls, and videos depicted him engaging in sexual intercourse with one of them.

 

In 2014, Gallon pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 33 years and 9 months in federal prison.

 

This case was investigated by the Lakeland Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement‘s Homeland Security Investigations in Tampa and Jacksonville. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys D. Rodney Brown, Beatriz Gonzalez, and Stacie Harris.

 

It is another case 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 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.justice.gov/psc.

Updated October 22, 2020

Topics
Project Safe Childhood
Human Trafficking