Nashville Man Convicted Of Human Trafficking Crimes
Brittan Ezekiel Kettles, aka “Low Low,” 26, of Nashville, Tennessee, was convicted yesterday by a federal jury of conspiracy to sex traffic a person under the age of 14 and sex trafficking a person under the age of 14, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran of the Middle District of Tennessee.
According to evidence and testimony at trial, on or about June 15, 2016, Stormy Whittemore met Kettles after he contacted her through Instagram, a photo and video-sharing social networking site. Within approximately 24 hours of meeting with him, Kettles disclosed information to her regarding his prostitution enterprise. Using promises of a money, cars, mansions, and other materialistic things, Kettles recruited Whittemore into working for him as a prostitute. Shortly thereafter, Whittemore began prostituting for Kettles in the Nashville area. At the time, Whittemore was 18 years old, and prior to meeting Kettles, she had never prostituted herself before.
To facilitate Whittemore’s prostitution activities, Kettles rented a room at a motel by the Nashville International Airport from June 16, 2016, through June 19, 2016. Kettles also utilized the website www.Backpage.com to advertise her services. The advertisements on Backpage.com sometimes displayed photographs of other female individuals and sometimes of Whittemore. When a male individual, commonly referred to as a “john” responded to the advertisement, Kettles would arrange the sexual encounter between the john and Whittemore. Following the encounter, Whittemore provided the money she made to the defendant, typically between $150 and $200 for each encounter.
Between June 16 and June 19, 2016, during the same time that Kettles was prostituting Whittemore in Nashville, he met a 13-year old friend of Whittemore’s. Shortly after meeting the 13-year-old, Kettles, through Whittemore, recruited and enticed her to engage in commercial sex acts: i.e., prostitute herself in exchange for money. Over the course of the next couple of days, the 13-year-old prostituted herself on behalf of Ketttles and Whittemore. Following each sexual encounter, she provided the money she earned to Whittemore and Kettles, usually by handing the money directly to Whittemore, who would then give the money to Kettles.
During the course of the weekend, Kettles purchased clothing, food, and beverages for Whittemore and the 13-year-old female and also paid for them to receive nail services at a salon, using the money that they had earned to pay for these items and services. At the end of the weekend, Whittemore and Kettles dropped the 13-year-old off at her residence. She subsequently contacted Whittemore and Kettles via text message, asking for $200 of the $800 that she had earned for them based on the prostitution she had performed. They agreed to give her $60, but in fact only left $15 in the mailbox at her house.
Shortly after all of the above, the 13-year-old’s mother contacted a non-governmental organization and reported that her daughter had been a victim of human trafficking. The non-governmental organization reported the information to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, which then conducted an investigation into the allegations. The 13-year-old subsequently identified Kettles and Whittemore as the individuals who trafficked her between June 16 and June 19, 2016.
Kettles faces a mandatory minimum of at least 15 years, up to life in prison when he is sentenced on October 15, 2018. Whittemore pleaded guilty in August 2017 and is awaiting sentencing.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katy Risinger and Siji Moore prosecuted the case.