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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Columbia Man Pleads to Sex Trafficking Charge

Contact Person: William K. Witherspoon (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Alshura Tabil Annessa Frazier, age 36, of Columbia, South Carolina has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Columbia, to sex trafficking of children, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a) (1) and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).  United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis of Columbia accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report that will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that around Memorial Day in 2015, a minor female under the age of eighteen (18) left her family in North Carolina and met Frazier in Myrtle Beach.  Following this encounter, Frazier and others had sex with the minor in exchange for providing her with the recreational drug “Molly” and shelter for the night. After leaving Myrtle Beach, Frazier brought the minor to Columbia, South Carolina, where Frazier recruited her to perform sexual acts on clients for money.  Frazier posted the minor or had others post the minor on Backpage.com, a site known to be used for sex trafficking.  Frazier transported her to and from North Carolina and to and from South Carolina on multiple occasions for the purpose of prostitution.   Frazier received one-hundred (100%) percent of the profits made from the prostitution.  The minor was sixteen (16) years of age at the time she began working as a prostitute for Frazier.  During this time, Frazier knew that the minor was under the age of eighteen (18).

The minor also advised that she engaged in sexual intercourse with Frazier when she was sixteen (16) years of age.  The minor stated that Frazier used one of his cell phones to video her and another prostitute with Frazier engaging in sexual activity when the minor was sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age.  

In addition, on March 18, 2015, a Richland County deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on a car for failing to give a turn signal.  The car sped off and a chase took place.  During the chase, the car pulled into a parking lot and a female, who was later identified as a prostitute working for Frazier, got out of the car and ran carrying a box.  The officer was able to identify Frazier by his driver’s license photo.  The car was registered to Frazier’s mother. 

After the officer could not stop the car, he returned to the spot where the prostitute exited the car and ran.   With the help of citizens, he found the female hiding in the woods. The female took the officer back to where she hid the box. In the box, officers located a 10mm Glock pistol, cocaine, crack cocaine, and suspected Molly.  The female told the officer that the box belonged to Frazier who gave it to her and told her to run.    Based upon this evidence, the gun was used and carried during and in relation to, and possessed in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.   

Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty for the sex trafficking charge is life imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for the possession of a firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime is also life imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Springdale Police Department, and Richland County Sheriff’s Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys William K. Witherspoon and T. DeWayne Pearson of the Columbia office are prosecuting the case.

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Topic: 
Firearms Offenses
Human Trafficking
Updated March 29, 2017