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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Colorado Man Sentenced to Six Years for Federal Sex Trafficking Conviction in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – A Colorado man was sentenced in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., yesterday to six years in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for his sex trafficking conviction.  The sentence was announced U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 2nd Judicial District Attorney Kari E. Brandenburg, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Chief Gorden Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).

David Justin Lynch, 39, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was charged by criminal complaint on March 24, 2011, with coercing a woman to travel in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution.  Thereafter, on July 27, 2011, an indictment was filed charging Lynch with coercing the victim to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution and traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of promoting prostitution.  The criminal complaint and indictment remained under seal until Oct. 2014, while state prosecutors proceeded with the prosecution of related-state charges against Lynch.  On April 7, 2015, Lynch was arrested on the federal charges after he was transferred from state custody to federal custody.

According to court documents, the FBI and APD initiated a federal human trafficking investigation into Lynch on March 22, 2011, the day after Lynch was arrested by APD on state charges.  The investigation revealed that between Dec. 2010 and March 2011, Lynch coerced the victim to travel to Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri and New Mexico for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.  Lynch and the victim remained in each location for a week or two, staying in different hotels, where the victim performed sexual acts with customers who responded to advertisements placed by Lynch on a website commonly used to post ads for prostitution. 

Court documents reflect that initially, the victim was required to pay 50% of her earnings to Lynch but beginning in Jan. 2011, Lynch took all of the victim’s earnings, giving her only enough money to pay for the hotel room, food and basic necessities.  Also in Jan. 2011, Lynch verbally threatened the victim, who felt that she could not stop working as a prostitute for Lynch.  In Feb. 2011, Lynch allegedly held a knife to the victim’s throat and threatened her because she was not making enough money and “wasn’t nice enough” to the customers.

Lynch and the victim were arrested by APD on March 21, 2011, after APD responded to an ad placed by Lynch on a website commonly used to post ads for prostitution.  After her arrest, the victim told officers that she wanted to leave Lynch and stop working as a prostitute but was afraid that Lynch would “track her down and kill her” if she left.  The victim said she felt coerced to engage in prostitution for Lynch because of his threats against her and his control of her earnings.

On April 9, 2015, Lynch entered guilty pleas to both counts of the indictment charging him with coercing a woman to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution, and traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of promoting prostitution.  In his plea agreement, Lynch admitted that from Nov. 1, 2011 through March 21, 2011, he coerced the victim to travel in interstate commerce from Colorado to New Mexico and other places to engage in prostitution.  Lynch also acknowledged that he traveled in interstate commerce to promote and facilitate prostitution.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and APD, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly A. Brawley and Norman Cairns.

Topic: 
Human Trafficking
Updated February 24, 2016