Lima men convicted of human trafficking crimes
Two Lima men were convicted by a federal jury of human trafficking charges for their roles in a conspiracy in which girls, then 14 and 16 years old, were forced into commercial sex acts, said Acting U.S. David A. Sierleja, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office, and Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin.
Lorenzo Young, 31, was convicted on eight counts, including conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, sex trafficking of a minor and participating in a child exploitation enterprise, among other crimes. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 7.
Aundre Davis, 35, was convicted on six counts, including conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, sex trafficking of a minor, and other crimes. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 31.
Megan Hitt, Randy Thompson and three other people previously pleaded guilty to crimes related to the conspiracy. Hitt is scheduled to be sentenced June 1.
Young, Davis, Thompson and Hitt conspired to cause girls, aged 14 and 16, to engage in commercial sex acts in Lima and Fort Wayne, Indiana. They did this by taking and posting sexually explicit photos of the girls on backpage.com, transporting the girls, renting motel rooms for them and negotiating prices. This took place between November 2015 and January 2016, according to court documents and trial testimony.
“These defendants preyed on teen girls so they could line their pockets with money,” Sierleja said. “Human trafficking happens all around us, on the internet and in the motels in our towns.”
“These individuals violated the rights of some of our most vulnerable in our community - the children,” Anthony said. “The FBI will continue working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue justice for human trafficking victims and to put their perpetrators behind bars."
“Human trafficking is a devastating crime that must be stopped. It victimizes people within every segment of society throughout our nation,” Martin said. “I want to thank the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for their help in enforcing the law against those who will engage in human trafficking within the Lima community. We are grateful for the cooperative working relationship we have with them and the many other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that are working together to make human trafficking a thing of the past. The Lima Police Department cannot accomplish this alone.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Toledo office and the Lima Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alissa M. Sterling and Daniel R. Hurley.