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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 23, 2015

Federal Indictment Charges East Providence Resident With Conspiracy, Transportation Of Minors And Sex Trafficking Of Minors

 




 

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A federal grand jury in Providence has returned a six-count indictment charging Reginald Chaney, a/k/a “Reggie”, 19, of East Providence, with conspiracy, sex trafficking of a child and transportation of a minor. It is alleged that Chaney conspired to recruit, transport and coerce two minor females to engage in commercial sex acts.

The indictment charges Chaney with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child, conspiracy to transport a minor, and two counts each of sex trafficking of a child and transportation of a minor.

The indictment, returned on Wednesday, is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations for New England; Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.; East Providence Police Chief Christopher J. Parella; and Seekonk, Mass., Police Chief Craig A. Mace.

According to information provided to the court previously, on or about January 18, 2015, Reginald Chaney met two young females, ages 15 and 16, and drove them to a residence in East Providence. It is alleged that at the direction of Chaney, photographs were taken of the victims for the purpose of being displayed on Backpage.com. Later that evening the victims were driven by Chaney to a motel in Seekonk, Mass., and the photographs were then posted on Backpage.com.

It is alleged that on several occasions between on or about January 18, 2015, and January 30, 2015, Chaney arranged for meetings between the victims and individuals who responded to advertisements on Backpage.com, offering the victims for the purposes of commercial sexual activity. The meetings allegedly occurred at motels in Seekonk, Mass., and at locations in Providence, Warwick, Charlestown and Narragansett.

Reginald Chaney was arrested in East Providence by East Providence Police on January 29, 2015, based on information developed during an investigation conducted by the Providence Police Department with assistance of Homeland Security Investigations. Chaney is currently being held in Rhode Island state custody as a superior court probation violator on a 5-year suspended sentence imposed on January 14, 2015, on a weapons charge.

An arraignment date in federal court on the indictment returned on Wednesday has not yet been scheduled. An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child and sex trafficking by force or coercion of a child is punishable by statutory penalties of up to life in federal prison with a mandatory minimum term of 15 years and a fine of up to $250,000. Conspiracy to transport a minor and transportation of a minor are punishable by statutory penalties of up to life in federal prison with a mandatory minimum term of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case is being prosecuted jointly in federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela E. Chin and Assistant Rhode Island Attorney General Daniel Carr Guglielmo.

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Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated December 18, 2015