Greenville Woman Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Brittany Danielle Cromer, 34, of Greenville, has pleaded guilty to Human Trafficking Conspiracy in federal court in Columbia.
According to evidence presented in court, from at least March through Nov. 2022, Cromer worked together with co-defendant Eric Rashun Jones, 31, of Newberry, to exploit women in the commercial sex trade by force, fraud, and coercion. Jones was convicted of Human Trafficking Conspiracy, Witness Tampering, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm in June 2023 and is awaiting sentencing.
Jones led the conspiracy by recruiting vulnerable victims, including victims of domestic violence and those who were dependent on drugs. He prostituted victims for his financial gain, confiscating between 60% and 100% of the proceeds. He did so by physical violence: Jones broke one victim’s orbital socket and burst her ear drum; he hit another victim regularly with a closed fist. Videos recovered by the FBI showed Jones directing the physical assault of women who worked for him. He did so by sexual violence, including by forcing women into sex acts. He did so by fraud related to the promised division of proceeds. And he did so by coercion, including by manipulating victims’ drug addictions and withdrawal symptoms.
Cromer knew that Jones was a fugitive, that he was the member of a documented street gang, that he had no legitimate job, that he prostituted women, and that he confiscated their proceeds. She also knew that he used physical violence, including by assaulting women if they did not work, by directing victims to assault other victims, and by assaulting one victim for not working in commercial sex after having a child. She also knew victims felt like they had no option but to stay with Jones. She knew how photographs were taken and advertisements were posted, how money was transferred from customers to the conspiracy, how proceeds were divided, and how the conspiracy responded to customers.
Cromer facilitated the conspiracy and helped Jones, including by setting up a CashApp account used to confiscate proceeds and registering it to her personal e-mail address and phone number. She monitored victims, particularly while Jones was in custody, and the conspiracy continued to exploit victims. Recorded jail calls show she coordinated with victims and Jones as for when victims would work for the conspiracy. Victims told the FBI that they were afraid of Cromer and that Jones used Cromer to monitor their activity and report back to Jones what she saw.
“This case demonstrates the power that traffickers have over their victims’ lives, controlling their communication, money and freedom,” said Adair F. Boroughs, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina. “Our office will continue to prosecute trafficking in all its forms and support survivors in their healing journey. We look forward to a just sentence for Cromer and Jones.”
Cromer faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. She also faces a fine of up to $250,000 and lifetime supervision to follow a term of imprisonment. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Cromer agreed to pay victims restitution.
United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Cromer after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case was investigated by the FBI Columbia Field Office, Greenville Police Department, Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Simpsonville Police Department, and Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elliott B. Daniels and Elle E. Klein are prosecuting the case.
Veronica Hill, Public Affairs Specialist, email@example.com, (803) 929-3000
Updated January 5, 2024
Project Safe Neighborhoods