Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found David Alan Quarles (51, Odessa) guilty of conspiracy; sex trafficking by force, threats, fraud, and coercion; importation of an alien for the purpose of prostitution; transportation of an individual in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution; and using a facility of interstate commerce in aid of prostitution. Quarles faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 24, 2023. Quarles was indicted on January 13, 2021.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, for decades, Quarles recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, advertised, and maintained young women and forced them to have sex with men in exchange for money. Quarles used physical violence, threats of violence, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse to force and coerce the victims to engage in commercial sex across the United States and throughout the Middle District of Florida. The evidence revealed Quarles frequented strip clubs and bikini bars to target and recruit young vulnerable women who were in difficult financial situations. Many of the victims lacked a stable home and had recently aged out of the foster care system. Quarles promised the victims he would provide everything they had been desiring – financial security, love and affection, and a family. Quarles and his conspirators directed the victims to engage in prostitution, posted advertisements featuring these victims, and arranged for the victims to travel across the United States to work. In addition to recruiting and obtaining women from the United States, Quarles also imported non-United States citizens into the country for the purposes of prostitution.
Quarles required that his victims send him the money that they earned or seek his permission to spend funds on necessities. The evidence demonstrated that while Quarles lacked any legitimate source of income, he benefited financially from the victims. He used their earnings to rent large homes, buy luxury clothing items, and purchase high-end cars, including a Range Rover and a Porsche Panamera. At trial, Quarles testified he had been working as a “pimp” since at least 1994 but denied needing to force or coerce the victims to engage in commercial sex.
As a result of his conviction, the United States is forfeiting multiple electronic devices that facilitated these offenses.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell and former Assistant United States Attorney Colin McDonell. Assistant United States Suzanne Nebesky is handling the forfeiture.
This case resulted from the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s efforts to collaborate with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to detect, investigate, and prosecute coercive human trafficking in the Tampa area. This includes the trafficking of minors, forced labor, transnational sex trafficking, and sex trafficking of adults by force, fraud, or coercion. Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.