California Man Sentenced for Human Trafficking and Methamphetamine in the Bakken
FARGO - U. S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on Feb. 17, 2016, Keith Alexander Graves, 39, Los Angeles, Calif., was sentenced before U. S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland to serve 33 years and nine months in prison following an eight-day jury trial. Graves was found guilty of five (5) counts of Sex Trafficking by Force or Coercion and one count each of Distribution and Possession of Methamphetamine. Judge Hovland also ordered that Graves be placed on lifetime supervised release, as well as pay a $625 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund.
On or about July 29, 2014, the Williston Police Department received a call requesting assistance from a female victim near the Walmart located in Williston, ND. The victim was scared and concerned that the individual she was reporting to law enforcement would see her and stated that she was involuntarily involved in prostitution and drugs under the control of Graves. Throughout witness testimony during trial, several victim witnesses described being sexually assaulted and/or raped by Graves, as well as being forced into ingesting methamphetamine. Graves also used force or the threat of force in coercing the victims to engage in prostitution.
In July 2014 a search warrant was executed on a motel room related to the case, where several items were found, including: an aluminum bat, marijuana, methamphetamine, pills, as well as several other items located in a nearby vehicle. A BB gun was located where he was residing.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, North Dakota BCI, and the Williston Police Department.
Assistant U. S. Attorneys Brandi Russell and Gary Delorme prosecuted the case.