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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Columbus ‘Pimp’ Indicted for Trafficking Women

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has charged Lerenzo M. White, aka “Justice” and “Justin,” 30, of Columbus, with five counts of human trafficking in an indictment returned in Columbus.

 

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and members of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, including Steve Francis, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs and Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin announced the indictment returned January 26, which was unsealed today at White’s initial appearance. White was arrested yesterday by Task Force agents.

 

The indictment alleges that White, through force, fraud or coercion, trafficked at least five females for the purpose of commercial sex acts. According to the indictment, White allegedly recruited and harbored women from at least July 2013 through May 2016. It is alleged that he used violence and the threat of drug withdrawal, namely heroin, to force young women to prostitute themselves at various hotels and residences throughout Ohio for his financial benefit.

 

Sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion is punishable by a range of 15 years up to life in prison.

 

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes authorities from the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather A. Hill and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Rausch, Director of the Franklin County Special Victims Unit, who are prosecuting the case.

 

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

 

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the ICE HSI Tip Line at 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423).

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated February 8, 2017