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Press Release

Prolific Human Trafficker, Whose Victims Included Children And Foreign Nationals, Sentenced To 35 Years In Federal Prison

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

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber has sentenced David Alan Quarles (51, Odessa) to 35 years in federal prison for conspiracy; sex trafficking by force, threats, fraud, or 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. As part of his sentence, the court also sentenced Quarles to a term of 10 years of supervised release and required him to register as a sex offender. An order of restitution for the victims of the offense will be determined at a later date. A federal jury had found Quarles guilty on November 7, 2022.

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 had 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 high-end cars including a Range Rover and Porsche Panamera.

At trial, Quarles testified that 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. At the sentencing hearing, Quarles maintained this defense and stated that he did not intend to force or coerce the victims into engaging in sex acts.

“This violent criminal groomed girls to become his commercial sex workers and subsequently trafficked them across multiple state and international borders. He physically and sexually abused the women to force them to engage in sex work for his financial benefit,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kristopher Pagitt. “This 35-year sentence is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our special agents, working side-by-side with the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) and Miami-Dade Police Department, to rescue these victims and terminate the nefarious efforts of this international human trafficking organization.”

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Coast Guard Investigative Service, with assistance from the Miami-Dade Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.

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

Updated January 25, 2023

Human Trafficking