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Press Release

Memphis Man Sentenced to Over Eleven Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi

Jackson, Miss. – A Memphis man was sentenced to 135 months in prison, followed by ten years of supervised release, for sex trafficking of a minor and interstate sex trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Wayne Edwards Settles, 31, trafficked a minor for commercial sex and transported another individual from Louisiana to Mississippi to engage in commercial sex. Settles posted advertisements online for the minor and branded her with a tattoo. The minor was trafficked in Jackson, Memphis, and New Orleans. 

Settles was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 11, 2022.  He pled guilty on October 25, 2022 to one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of interstate sex trafficking. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, and Richland Police Department investigated this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly T. Purdie prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated February 10, 2023

Project Safe Childhood