Colonie Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking Minors
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Christopher Thomas, age 40, of Colonie, New York, was sentenced today to 480 months (40 years) in prison for sex trafficking minors and related offenses.
United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Alfred A. Watson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and New York State Police (NYSP) Acting Superintended Dominick L. Chiumento made the announcement.
Thomas was convicted on March 24, 2023, after a 5-day jury trial. The trial evidence established that between 2018 and 2020, Thomas trafficked and exploited victims, including minors as young as 16, whom he recruited to work in commercial sex for his financial benefit. His crimes spanned New York, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Thomas was convicted on 16 counts total, including sexual exploitation of a child, distribution of child pornography, and tampering with a witness.
United States Attorney Carla Freedman said: “Christopher Thomas targeted vulnerable children and young women, and profited from their desperation by manipulating, coercing and forcing them to engage in commercial sex acts. Today’s sentence means he will never do that again. With our law enforcement partners, we will continue to investigate and prosecute sex trafficking organizations and help victims reclaim their lives.”
FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Alfred Watson said: “Christopher Thomas preyed on young girls and women and forced them into a dangerous life of drugs, abuse, and prostitution. Today, our thoughts are with the incredibly brave victims in this case who courageously came forward to regain control of their lives and help put this heinous criminal in prison for many years. FBI Albany’s Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force will continue to work with the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners at every level to seek justice for the victims of sex trafficking.”
Acting State Police Superintendent Dominick Chiumento stated, “The State Police and our law enforcement partners have zero tolerance for those who prey on innocent children and exploit them for their gain. This sentence reflects the severity of the crimes and our commitment to finding justice for our most vulnerable victims. While these types of investigations are often difficult for those who work on them, the evidence they gathered and the outstanding work done by our State Police personnel and our law enforcement partners led to this conviction and ensures that this individual will be held accountable for his reprehensible actions.”
United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino also sentenced Thomas to a life term of post-imprisonment supervised release. Thomas will also have to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.
In imposing sentence, Judge D’Agostino told Thomas, “It takes a very special kind of evil to sex traffic children and not just children but the most vulnerable people in society and that’s what you did.” She continued, “You consider these people useless, throwaways. In your mind they are of no value. But they were someone’s child, sister, granddaughter and they had as much a right to live a life free of this type of abuse as anyone else.”
In addition to the FBI and NYSP, the Colonie Police Department, Albany County Sheriff’s Office and Albany Police Department assisted in investigating the case. Assistant United States Attorney Katherine Kopita and former Assistant United States Attorney Rachel Williams prosecuted the case.
Updated October 30, 2023