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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 12, 2016

Two Michigan Residents Sentenced to Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking of Minors

In Austin today, 30-year-old Deqwon Saquod Lewis and 24-year old Starisha Shontel Moore, both of Flint, Michigan, were sentenced to 300 months and 235 months in federal prison, respectively, for sex trafficking of minors announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Steven McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

In addition to the prison terms, United States District Judge Sam Sparks ordered that both defendants be placed on supervised release for a period of five years after completing their prison terms and register as a sex offender.

On May 27, 2016, a federal jury found Lewis and Moore each guilty of two felony counts of sex trafficking of two minor females under the age of 18 years. The jury also determined that both Lewis and Moore were also each guilty of a third count of knowingly transporting one of the minor girls from the State of Texas to the State of Michigan, with the intent to engage the minor in prostitution.

Trial testimony revealed that during the months of June through August of 2015, in Austin and elsewhere, the defendants created and posted online “escort” advertisements that resulted in the sexual exploitation of the minors via commercial sex acts. In August of 2015, the defendants transported one of the minors, who had recently turned 15 years old, from Texas to Flint and Detroit, Michigan for the purpose of sexually exploiting her.

“Crimes against children – especially sex trafficking of minors – are some of the most difficult cases we work; that said, we are pleased to have been part of this important investigation because we helped rescue children and took two dangerous criminals off the street,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The teamwork among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in these types of investigations is crucial to combatting crime, pursuing suspects and protecting victims – and we are grateful those important partnerships.”

This case was investigated by the Human Trafficking Unit of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant

United States Attorneys Grant Sparks and Ashley Hoff prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated August 12, 2016