Essex County Man Charged with Sex Trafficking
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man made his initial appearance today on charges of sex trafficking, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Amin Sharif, 47, of Newark, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of attempted sex trafficking an adult woman and one count of sex trafficking a minor. Sharif appeared by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Since January 2021, law enforcement officials have been investigating Sharif for transporting and attempting to transport women and minors from various states to New Jersey and elsewhere for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts and other illicit conduct. Sharif used several social media platforms and profiles to recruit women and minors to engage in sex acts for money. Once in contact with his victims, Sharif used threats to coerce the victims into engaging in commercial sex acts. He advertised women and at least one underage girl online for commercial sex acts. Sharif also transported at least one underage girl located in another state into New Jersey and attempted to transport a woman located in another state into New Jersey via a commercial airline, in furtherance of his sex trafficking conduct.
The counts with which Sharif is charged are each punishable by a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark and Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire in Philadelphia, and officers of the Allentown, Pennsylvania, Police Department, under the direction of Chief Charles Roca, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Mitchell of the U.S. Attorney’s Office OCDETF and Narcotics Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.