Tampa, FL – Acting United States Attorney Karin Hoppmann announces the return of an indictment charging Henry Lee White, III (26, Orlando) with sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, transportation of an individual in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution, coercion and enticement, and being a felon in possession of ammunition. If convicted on all counts, White faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. The indictment also notifies White that the United States intends to forfeit assets alleged to have facilitated these offenses.
According to the indictment, from June 2, 2020, through January 7, 2021, White used force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion to cause Victim 1 to engage in prostitution. During that time, White trafficked Victim 1 within the Middle District of Florida, and transported Victim 1 from Florida to Georgia so that Victim 1 could engage in prostitution. The indictment also charges that White, a convicted felon, was found in possession of ammunition in violation of federal law.
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 Homeland Security Investigations, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department. It will be 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, 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 www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/humantrafficking. Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.