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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Jacksonville Man Indicted For Forcible Sex Trafficking

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging Richard Anthony Moffett (30, Jacksonville), also known as “Mook,” with three counts of sex trafficking by force and threats of force. If convicted, he faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison on each count. 

According to court documents, between late 2016 and mid-2017, Moffett forcibly trafficked three victims in the commercial sex industry in Jacksonville. Moffett was identified on May 17, 2017, by officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office after one of his victims was arrested on a prostitution charge. The victim told the arresting officers that Moffett would come looking for her and that she had first met him through her husband, who had purchased drugs from him. The victim was told that she could stay with Moffett, and he provided her with food and shelter. The next day, Moffett told her that she would have to engage in sex for money if she wanted to stay.

Moffett’s victim later observed him repeatedly beat another victim for withholding money from him and for failing to promptly repost her advertisements for commercial sex. Moffett also coerced his victims, who at the time were drug users, by withholding drugs if they did not engage in enough commercial sex “dates.” Moffett threatened to kill the children of at least one of his victims if she tried to leave him. He also pointed a handgun at a third victim when he believed the woman was withholding money from him and then hit her in the back of the head with the gun.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the State Attorney’s Office (Fourth Judicial Circuit). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor and Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin Wolfson.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated May 10, 2018