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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Harrisburg Man Sentenced To 140 Months’ Imprisonment For Sex Trafficking By Force

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on November 23, 2020, Terrance Hawkins, age 28, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 140 months’ imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo for sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Hawkins was a principal in a sex trafficking operation that exploited over 20 victims, including juveniles. Judge Rambo noted the seriousness of the criminal conduct when imposing his sentence. Four co-defendants in the conspiracy were previously convicted of engaging in the same conspiracy that began in Harrisburg in the fall of 2015 and continued until it was dismantled in August 2016:

  • Miguel Arnold, age 33, of Harrisburg, was the leader of the group and was convicted of conspiracy to commit and sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana; possession with intent to distribute heroin, and was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. The judge noted Arnold’s leadership and the violence he used in the scheme as reasons for the sentence;
  • Tevin Bynoe, age 27, of Harrisburg, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, and was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment;
  • Joshua Guity-Nunez, age 31, of Harrisburg, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, and was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment; and
  • Emonie Murphy, age 23, of Harrisburg, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, and was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. 

As a part of their scheme, they rented hotel rooms and posted “escort” advertisements and photographs on www.backpage.com, a website that the FBI has since seized and is no longer operational.  The traffickers would frequently solicit women to engage in prostitution by lying to them about the services that they would be expected to perform.  They would also target victims who were vulnerable by virtue of their age, financial insecurity, or drug addiction.  At least three victims of the conspiracy were minors, one as young as 14 years old.  They would take the majority of the money made during the course of the prostitution business, and distribute drugs to the women, including heroin. They coerced the sex trafficking victims through fraud, physical abuse, deprivation of heroin to addicted victims, and threats of violence.

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.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit  www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit  www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

 

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Human Trafficking
Updated November 24, 2020