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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 27, 2019

California Man Pleads Guilty to Transporting a Minor for Prostitution

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Murrieta, California, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to transporting a 16-year-old victim across state lines for prostitution.

Michael Barrett Cason, 38, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to the charge contained in a Dec. 13, 2017, federal indictment.

According to today’s plea agreement, Kansas City, Missouri, police officers received a request to conduct a wellness check for a missing 16-year-old from Texas on Nov. 18, 2017. Officers responded to a local hotel to locate the minor, who had posted her location on social media. While officers were at the hotel, co-defendant Shelbi Katelyn Chaddick, 28, of Texas, arrived, driving Cason’s Mercedes-Benz with the missing 16-year-old victim. Officers accompanied the victim to her hotel room, where they saw items consistent with prostitution. Officers also saw several text messages on the victim’s locked cell phone asking when she would be available.

The child victim told officers she had been transported by Cason and Chaddick from Texas to Missouri to engage in prostitution, and had engaged in prostitution with several individuals while in Kansas City. Investigators located live Backpage and CallsEscort ads that utilized the child victim’s cell phone number.

Chaddick pleaded guilty on July 10, 2019, to making false statements to law enforcement.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Cason is subject to a sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore. It was investigated by the FBI and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated December 27, 2019