Monroe County Woman Guilty Of Participating In Sex Trafficking Conspiracy And Drug Trafficking
SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Jordan Capone, age 24, of Mt. Pocono, pleaded guilty on March 22, 2019, before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, to participating in a sex trafficking conspiracy that involved using threats and coercion to force women to engage in prostitution in the Monroe County area between 2011 and 2014. Capone also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute the drug “molly,” a form of MDMA.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Capone admitted to being a member of the Black P-Stones, a street gang that engaged in sex trafficking and drug trafficking in the Stroudsburg area and the state of Maine. Members of the conspiracy advertised prostitutes on websites, transported the prostitutes, and rented hotel and motel rooms for the purpose of having the women engage in commercial sex acts with customers.
The prostitutes were threatened, physically assaulted, and provided drugs, including heroin, by members of the conspiracy to persuade them to engage or continue to engage in prostitution. Virtually all of the money earned by the prostitutes was turned over to the gang leaders, and the prostitutes were compensated with illegal drugs.
Capone admitted to selling “molly” between 2013 and 2017.
Judge Mannion ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed. Sentencing for Capone will be scheduled at a later date.
Capone was indicted along with others by a federal grand jury, as a result of an investigation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police, Maine State Police, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, and local police in Monroe County. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Francis P. Sempa and Phillip Caraballo are prosecuting 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 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.
This case was also brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.
The maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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