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Press Release

Former Erie Resident Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking Children

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

ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 14 years in prison and 10 years supervised release on his conviction of sex trafficking of a child and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge David S. Cercone imposed the sentence on Thomas Patrick Petoff, 31.

According to information presented to the court, from March 2015 to October 2015, Petoff and a co-defendant, Devonte Lucas, knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, advertised and maintained two minor victims who engaged in commercial sex acts at the behest of Petoff and Lucas. Petoff’s 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 Petoff.  Lucas was sentenced to 13 years in prison on September 11, 2017.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Brady commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Millcreek Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Petoff.

Updated April 8, 2019

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