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Press Release

Spartanburg Man Pleads Guilty in Human Trafficking Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Contact Person: Bill Watkins (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina ----- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Dylan L. Patterson, age 19, of Spartanburg, pled guilty today in federal court in Greenville, to a conspiracy to traffic in children by force for the purposes of prostitution in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1594(c).  United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks, of Greenville, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Patterson is the fifth man to plead guilty in the conspiracy.  Previously on December 17, 2015, Brandon L. Littlejohn, age 26, D’Shawn C. Pitts, age 19, Michael G. Riddle, age 20, and John A. Gossett, III, age, 22, all of Spartanburg, pled guilty to the conspiracy.

The indictment alleges that the defendants recruited minor victims and young women to work for them.  They then instructed and supervised the minor victims and young women on how to solicit and charge for commercial sex acts. The indictment also states that the conspirators “would and did physically beat or threaten to physically beat the minor victims and young women to scare and control them.” 

According to evidence presented at the change of plea hearing, the conspiracy operated in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina, Virginia, and other cities in the Southeastern states.   It was further part of the conspiracy that the Defendants obtained hotel rooms for the women to work from. Defendants placed advertisements, or assisted in the placing of advertisements, on the internet using to advertise the young women for commercial sex acts. 

Once a John answered the ad and arranged to meet the minor female or young women at the hotel, Defendants would wait in an adjoining hotel room until the John arrived, paid the money, and completed the sex act with the minor female or young girl.  Once the John left the room, Defendants would enter and retrieve the money. 

Mr. Nettles said that his office “would continue to diligently fight human trafficking because such crimes impose a great personal and psychological toll on the victims and society as a whole.”  

The maximum penalty Patterson and the others could face is life imprisonment, and/or a fine of $250,000, and five years of supervised release. The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Investigations, and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.  The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office for prosecution.


Updated January 26, 2017

Civil Rights
Human Trafficking