Illinois Resident Sentenced on Sex Trafficking Charges
FARGO – United States Attorney Chris C. Myers announced that on December 21, 2017, ANTHONY DONTE COLLIER, a/k/a Koleone The Great, age 30, of Illinois, was sentenced in federal court after being found guilty by a trial jury in April of this year. Collier was sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release on charges of Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking, Sex Trafficking of a Child, and four counts of Sex Trafficking. Collier was further ordered to pay $600 in special assessments to the Crime Victims’ Fund, in addition to a $5,000 special assessment payable to the Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act, and also $38,885.41 in restitution to the victims in the case.
This case came to the attention of law enforcement after Collier’s state probation office 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 which was attached to a leash that was being 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 cell phone, law enforcement found that the same images located on Collier’s cell phone were also seen on Backpage.com under the "Escort" section. The exam further revealed that the cell phone was utilized to purchase virtual currency known as "Bitcoins," which were ultimately used to purchase advertisements on Backpage.com; the ads depicted the same women and the same 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.
"This sentencing stands as a warning to those who would sell another person into sexual slavery," said Special Agent in Charge Alex Khu of HSI – St. Paul. "HSI, in addition to our local and state law enforcement partners, remain ever vigilant and will take aggressive action to find and rescue victims, and to put their victimizers behind bars."
U. S. Attorney Myers stated, "This case is a shining example of the commitment of local, state, and federal law enforcement, along with victim service providers, to rescue victims of sex trafficking and to punish defendants like Mr. Collier who prey on victims for their own financial gain."
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 United States Attorneys Jennifer Puhl and Brett Shasky prosecuted the 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).