You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bronx Man Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking Of Minors, Possession Of Child Pornography, And Gun Possession

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that DAVID HOPE, a/k/a “Capo,” pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein to his involvement in the sex trafficking of minor girls, possession of child pornography, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “For years, David Hope manipulated and exploited vulnerable minor girls in the cruelest of ways, selling them for sex for his own profit.  With David Hope’s guilty plea today, we seek to deliver justice to the victims, as well as a measure of real hope.  Protecting girls and young women from sex traffickers like Hope remains a top law enforcement priority for us and the FBI.”

According to the Indictment, Complaint, and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during HOPE’s plea proceedings:

Since at least 2013, HOPE directed and conducted a criminal sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise (the “Enterprise”) that recruited and exploited minor girls and young women, and then prostituted them using an online classified ad website for his own profit.  HOPE, who was wheelchair-bound, operated the Enterprise at his apartment in the Bronx, New York (the “Hope Apartment”), Connecticut, and elsewhere.

HOPE recruited minors who looked up to him to participate in the Enterprise and other criminal activity.  HOPE, who was known to carry a firearm, employed myriad tactics – including manipulation, intimidation, coercion, threats, and violence – to recruit and maintain the girls and young women he sold for sex.  At least four minor victims were involved in the Enterprise. 

In or about November 2015, when he was arrested, HOPE also possessed on his cellphone a sexually explicit video of one of the minor girls he trafficked. 

In or about January 2015, HOPE possessed a defaced firearm (the “Firearm”) after he had been previously convicted of a felony crime.  Specifically, on January 16, 2015, when New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) officers were executing a search warrant at the Hope apartment, HOPE instructed a minor female to throw the loaded Firearm out of the rear window of the Hope Apartment.  Before it was thrown out the window, the Firearm was in the bed where Hope was sleeping.

*                *                *

HOPE, 29, of the Bronx, New York, was arrested on November 19, 2015, in the Bronx, New York, and has been in federal custody since.  HOPE pled guilty today to one count of sex trafficking of a minor, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; one count of possession of child pornography, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the judge.  HOPE is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Stein on March 1st, 2017, at 2:30 p.m.

Mr. Bharara praised the extraordinary investigative work of the FBI.  He thanked the NYPD for its assistance throughout the investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut and the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force for its assistance with investigating HOPE’s operations in Connecticut.  Mr. Bharara also thanked the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) and the ATF/NYPD Joint Robbery Task Force (SPARTA) for its assistance in the early stages of the investigation.

Any individuals who believe they have information concerning the exploitation of children may contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 1-212-384-1000 or https://tips.fbi.gov/.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Sagar K. Ravi and Christopher J. DiMase are in charge of the prosecution.       

16-319
Updated December 1, 2016