Monroe County Man Sentenced To 17 ½ Years’ Imprisonment For Role In Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that William Battle, age 29, of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 210 months’ imprisonment today by U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, for participating in a conspiracy that forced or coerced women to engage in prostitution in northeastern Pennsylvania.
According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Battle, who used the street name “Buck,” previously pled guilty to conspiring with others to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion between 2011 and 2015.
Battle’s conviction and sentence resulted from an investigation into the activities of a street gang known as the “Black P-Stones.” The fourth superseding indictment alleged that females were “sexed-in” to the gang by being forced to engage in sex with male gang members; recruited and coerced to engage in prostitution; advertised as adult escorts on a website; provided with heroin and other drugs; and placed in various are hotels/motels to work as prostitutes. Gang members, including Battle, used threats, force, drugs, and intimidation to coerce females to engage in prostitution.
Judge Mannion also ordered the defendant to serve five years of supervised release following his prison sentence. Battle must also comply with sex offender registration and notification requirements.
The leader of the Black P-Stones, Sirvonn Taylor, was previously sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment. Other high-level gang members that have been sentenced in the case include: Jose Velasquez—17 ½ years’ imprisonment; Jamiell Sims—12 ½ years’ imprisonment; Arthur Taylor—7 years’ imprisonment; and Jordan Capone—7 years’ imprisonment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, Maine State Police, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, and local police in Monroe County. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case.
This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This case was brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.
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