Dauphin County Man Convicted Of Sex Trafficking
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Miguel Scott Arnold, age 32, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was convicted on June 21, 2019, of (1) conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion; (2) sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion; (3) conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana; and (4) possession with intent to distribute heroin, after a four-day trial before United States District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the jury returned with the guilty verdict after approximately one hour of deliberation. The evidence showed that Arnold was part of a significant sex trafficking operation that exploited over 20 victims, including juveniles. Arnold and his co-conspirators coerced the sex trafficking victims though fraud, physical assault, the deprivation of heroin to addicted victims, and threats of violence.
Following the entry of the verdict, Judge Rambo remanded Arnold to the custody of the U.S. Marshals, at the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Arnold has been incarcerated on state charges since August 2016.
Arnold and four co-defendants, each of whom previously pleaded guilty to engaging in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, participated in a conspiracy that began in Harrisburg in the fall of 2015, and continued until it was dismantled in August 2016. Arnold and the co-conspirators rented hotel rooms and posted “escort” advertisements and photographs on www.backpage.com, a website that the FBI has since seized and which is no longer operational. Testimony taken at trial demonstrated that Arnold and his co-conspirators would frequently solicit women to engage in prostitution by lying to them about the services that they would be expected to perform. Arnold and his co-conspirators would also target victims who were vulnerable by virtue of their age, financial insecurity, or drug addiction. Testimony at trial indicated that at least three victims of the conspiracy were minors, one as young as 14 years old. Arnold and the others would take the majority of the money made during the course of the prostitution business, and distributed drugs to the women, including heroin.
In addition to Arnold, the four others charged in the indictment include Tevin Bynoe, Terrence Hawkins, Joshua Guity-Nunez, and Emonie Murphy, all from Harrisburg. Murphy, age 23, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion on August 27, 2018. Bynoe, age 27, and Hawkins, age 26, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion on September 20, 2018. Guity-Nunez, age 31, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion.
Sentencing proceedings for Arnold and his co-defendants remain to be scheduled.
The FBI coordinated the investigation and was aided by law enforcement agencies in the Harrisburg area. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael A. Consiglio and Christian T. Haugsby prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
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