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Press Release

Bronx Man Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To Over 24 Years In Prison For Conspiracy To Commit Sex Trafficking Of A Minor

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

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JAMEL GODDARD, a/k/a “Payroll,” was sentenced today by United States District Judge Loretta A. Preska to 292 months in prison for his role as the leader of a sex trafficking conspiracy.  GODDARD pled guilty on February 26, 2018, to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “For years, Jamel Goddard preyed on vulnerable victims and exploited them for financial gain.  For his brazen and violent conduct, Goddard now faces a substantial prison term.  Today’s sentence should serve as a powerful message to the sex trafficking industry that such reprehensible conduct will not be tolerated.”

According to the Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court, previous court filings, and statements made at public court proceedings:

Between approximately 2012 until approximately July 2017, GODDARD operated and led a sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise (the “Enterprise”) that recruited vulnerable women and a 15-year-old girl and subsequently exploited them for GODDARD’s personal financial gain.  GODDARD typically recruited victims who lacked education, a stable home, and family support.  He required the women he trafficked to engage in sex acts with multiple customers in a single day, operating from hotel rooms in the Bronx, Brooklyn, upstate New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Florida, and using classifieds websites to advertise for commercial sex.  GODDARD kept all or most of the victims’ earnings, which sometimes amounted to thousands of dollars in a single day, for himself.

Throughout the course of the Enterprise, GODDARD employed physical violence and threats of force to exert control over his victims.  On multiple occasions, GODDARD hit or punched victims for, among other things: being, in GODDARD’s view, disrespectful; owing GODDARD money; or holding back their earnings from commercial sex from GODDARD.

During prior periods of imprisonment, GODDARD continued to operate the Enterprise while incarcerated, communicating directives and threats to his victims by phone.  On one such occasion, GODDARD warned a victim to “watch what I do when I get out.”

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In addition to his prison sentence, GODDARD, 32, was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release. 

Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department.

This matter is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth A. Hanft, Sagar K. Ravi, and Alexandra N. Rothman are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated August 15, 2018

Human Trafficking
Press Release Number: 18-279