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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 27, 2018

Hattiesburg Man Sentenced to 30 years for Human Trafficking

OXFORD, Miss:  Raymorris Asencio, 32, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison following his conviction for human trafficking and transporting a minor across state lines to engage in prostitution.  The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Christopher Freeze and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.

Ascencio was convicted at trial in March of 2018 for trafficking a minor female for sex. U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson presided over Ascencio’s trial and sentenced him on Thursday in Federal Court in Oxford, Mississippi.  In total, Judge Davidson sentenced Ascencio to 30 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment.

U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar said, “Combatting human trafficking is a top priority for the Department of Justice and our office.  Through collaborative efforts with our state and local law enforcement partners in Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Safe Childhood we will do just that.  We must protect our children from predators like Asencio.  I want to thank the private citizens in Oxford who noticed the minor and Asencio and notified the Oxford Police Department of their concerns for the minor's safety.  I also want to commend the quick action of the Oxford Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other police departments in Hattiesburg, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who all worked together to locate and rescue the minor.”

“It is nearly unthinkable that trafficking a minor for prostitution still happens in Mississippi, but the jury in this case agreed that the charges against Asencio were warranted,” said Special Agent in Charge Freeze. “Our Child Exploitation Task Force constantly focuses on those that prey on children. I want to personally thank the special agents, task force officers and partner law enforcement agencies that assisted with this case, because without these partnerships, these types of verdicts would not be possible.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Roberts and Michael Hallock prosecuted the case for the United States.  The case was investigated by the FBI Jackson Division’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which is made up of agents from the FBI, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and officers from the Prentiss County Sheriff’s Office and Southaven Police Department.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood
Updated July 27, 2018