Erie Resident Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Laws Related to the Sexual Exploitation of Children
ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of sex trafficking of a child and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.
Devonte Lamonte Lucas, 22, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from March 2015 to October 2015, Lucas and a co-defendant knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, advertised and maintained two minor victims who engaged in commercial sex acts at the behest of Lucas and his co-defendant. Lucas’ illegal activity was ultimately stopped when members of the Millcreek Police Department observed Lucas transport a minor female to a Millcreek motel after the Millcreek officers, acting in an undercover capacity, had set up a meeting at the motel with the victim via an Internet advertisement that had been placed by Lucas’ co-defendant.
Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for September 11, 2017. The law provides for a total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Millcreek Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Lucas.