Illinois Resident Found Guilty Following Sex Trafficking Trial
FARGO - US Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on April 20, 2017, Anthony Donte Collier, aka Koleone the Great, 29, Illinois, was found guilty following an 11 ½ day jury trial of Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking, Sex Trafficking of a Child, and four (4) Counts of Sex Trafficking.
This case came to the attention of law enforcement after Collier’s state probation officer discovered an image on Collier’s Facebook page depicting a young woman on her knees, dressed in lingerie, with a dog collar around her neck attached to a leash, which was held by Collier. Law enforcement learned that Collier was frequenting hotels with that same woman depicted in the image and subsequently obtained a search warrant for Collier’s cell phone, which contained images of several women, including a 17-year-old juvenile girl. During the forensic examination of the cellphone, law enforcement found that the same images located on Collier’s cellphone were also seen on backpage.com under the “Escort” section. The exam further revealed that the cellphone was utilized to purchase Bitcoins, which were ultimately used to purchase advertisements on backpage.com; the ads depicted the same women/photos. Backpage.com is an online classified advertising company, which Collier utilized to advertise the women for sex.
Victims were subsequently identified and interviewed, during which time they disclosed that Collier assaulted them, including urinating on one of the victims, to compel the victims to engage in commercial sex acts. The sex acts occurred in hotels as well as private residences located in both Moorhead and Fargo. A total of five victims were identified and interviewed as part of this case.
“Anthony Collier trafficked five victims into sexual slavery, including a 17 year old girl. His actions have forever changed the lives of these victims,” said Special Agent in Charge Alex Khu of HSI St. Paul. “But they and the people of the community can take some measure of comfort knowing that he is facing a lengthy prison term. HSI is proud of the work we’ve accomplished with our local law enforcement partners and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.”
US District Judge Ralph R. Erickson has set sentencing for July 24, 2017, at 10:00 AM, in the US District Court Fargo.
This case was investigated by the Moorhead Police Department, Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations, and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Assistant US Attorneys Jennifer Puhl and Brett Shasky prosecuted this case.
This case was prosecuted with the assistance of the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force (NDHTTF), which includes regional response teams that consist of federal, state, and local law enforcement and victim service providers working together to identify and rescue human trafficking victims as well as investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ND BCI, and the North Dakota Counsel on Abused Women Services (CAWS), the NDHTTF is dedicated to addressing the individualized needs of human trafficking victims and the apprehension, investigation, and prosecution of the perpetrators of human trafficking.
The NDHTTF includes representatives from Youthworks, the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Lutheran Social Services, the ND Association of Counties, a Force to End hUman Sexual Exploitation (FUSE), a survivor of human trafficking, First Nations Women’s Alliance (FNWA), and the Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).