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Press Release

Brooklyn, New York Man Sentenced To Twelve Years In Jail For Sex Trafficking And Drug Trafficking

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

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced today that Diheim Young, age 32, of Brooklyn, New York was sentenced by Judge William K. Sessions, III, in federal court to twelve years in prison after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in Rutland, Vermont as well as a conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking women between Vermont and New York. Young pleaded guilty to sex trafficking five women between 2012 and 2015. Four of the women were Vermont residents at the time they were trafficked. Judge Sessions also sentenced Young to five years of supervised release after his prison sentence.

According to the public record, Young worked with a series of women who assisted him in the drug trade. These women sold drugs for him, transported him to meet drug customers in and around Rutland and transported him to New York City to pick up drugs from his source of supply. When the women were sufficiently addicted to be dependent upon him, Young turned their addictions against them as a means of controlling them. Young convinced some of the women to travel to New York City with him under false pretenses and, once there, forced them to prostitute themselves either by posting advertisements on a website called Backpage or by forcing them to walk what is known as “the track.” If the women refused to engage in prostitution, Young withheld drugs from those who were addicted knowing that they would get sick from withdrawal. Young would also hit the women or threaten to hit them if they refused to do as Young said or attempted to escape.

With some of the Vermont women, Young also confiscated their cell phones and identification documents as a means of isolating and controlling them once they were in New York. One of Young’s siblings made his apartment in Brooklyn, New York, available for use as part of the sex trafficking scheme. This residence was used as a location to photograph the women for the purpose of creating Backpage advertisements, which he used to advertise some of the women to potential sex buyers. Young also held the women at the Brooklyn apartment where he assaulted them physically and sexually if they refused to engage in commercial sex acts or tried to leave him. Young took the proceeds earned by the women for engaging in forced prostitution and threatened them that if they stopped providing him with these prostitution proceeds, he would harm them further.

The United States Attorney commends the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Southern Vermont Drug Task Force, and the Rutland Police Department, who worked together in this investigation. This case represents the success of interagency work as part of the Department of Justice’s and the State of Vermont’s joint efforts combatting human trafficking.

The United States was represented in this case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Van de Graaf. The defendant is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender David McColgin.

Updated November 8, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Human Trafficking
Violent Crime