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Press Release

Durham Man Sentenced to Six Life Terms in Prison for Sex Trafficking

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

GREENSBORO – CHESTER FLETCHER WALLACE was sentenced today to life in prison after being convicted of sex trafficking, announced United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston of the Middle District of North Carolina.

WALLACE, age 62, was convicted by a jury on July 14, 2023, at the conclusion of a four-day trial.  He was convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion and five counts of using force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion to cause five victims to engage in commercial sex acts.

Evidence at trial showed that WALLACE ran a sex trafficking ring based out of a three-bedroom house located in Durham that he rented from July 2021 until late spring of 2022. WALLACE recruited women who were homeless or suffering from substance abuse, promising them housing and drugs if they came to live at the residence. Once there, all five victims testified that they were photographed for advertisements posted for commercial sex posted on sites such as “Mega Personals” and “Skipthegames,” and that WALLACE and a co-defendant set up the “dates” for commercial sex.  The victims further testified that WALLACE established certain house rules that all the victims had to obey and used violence and coercion to enforce the rules of the house. Two victims testified that they tried to run away but WALLACE either found them and brought them back to the house or sent others to do so.

WALLACE was sentenced today to six life terms of imprisonment, to run concurrent with one another, by the Honorable Catherine C. Eagles, Chief United States District Judge in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. In addition to prison time, WALLACE was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $68,000.00. A hearing to determine additional restitution will be held on November 14.

WALLACE’s co-defendant, Leslie Chevonne Stout, pleaded guilty on October 16, 2023, to the conspiracy count. Stout’s sentencing is scheduled for July 18, 2024.

“Today’s sentencing handed down just punishment, and it brings to an end the cruel and inhumane misogyny perpetrated by this defendant,” said United States Attorney Sandra Hairston. “We deeply appreciate the diligent law enforcement officers and prosecutors who worked on the case. Their efforts prevent the defendant and his co-defendant from claiming more victims and provide a measure of justice which we hope will allow the victims to begin healing from this terrible ordeal.”

“The reign of unimaginable terrors that Wallace viciously inflicted upon his victims is over and they can breathe easier knowing he will never again be able to victimize them or anyone else,” said Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge for HSI Charlotte, which covers North and South Carolina. “This is another example of the great results that are possible when law enforcement and community partners work together. In this case, we must recognize the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking and the Durham Police for the invaluable assistance they provided in bringing this monster to justice.”

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Durham Police Department, with support and assistance from the Durham County District Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicole DuPré and former Assistant United States Attorney Tanner Kroeger.


Updated November 2, 2023