A Louisiana man will spend the next seven years in federal prison for transporting minors across state lines to sell them for sex, officials said Monday.
Mr. Dmarcus Antwain Ward, 26, of Minden, was sentenced Monday on the sex trafficking charges after investigators said he took juveniles to Alabama and back to Georgia, advertising them on the Internet for commercial sex acts.
“Atlanta is earning the unfortunate distinction as a center of human trafficking of all kinds, and this case demonstrates the tragic harms to our children and our community that results from sex trafficking of minors,” U. S. Attorney Mrs. Sally Quillian Yates said. “The sentence against this defendant is a step toward removing this activity from our community. Our work against child sex trafficking will continue until this problem is eliminated.”
Investigators said Mr. Ward transported a 17-year-old girl for prostitution from Atlanta to Birmingham and back again. Mr. Ward, who had posted photos of the teen on the Internet, took all the money she earned within that 10-day period, according to the U. S. Attorney’s Office.
The Minden man gave the teen a pre-paid cell phone, paid for the hotel rooms and provided her condoms to use, spokesman Mr. Patrick Crosby said.
He ordered the teen to call him “boss” and also had sex with her, the spokesman said.
Mr. Ward also forced a 14-year-old runaway into prostitution after meeting her on a toll-free “chat line” and coercing her to go to Alabama with him, Mr. Crosby said.
Mr. Ward posted advertisements of the teen on the Internet and rented hotel and motel rooms in Tucker and Marietta for prostitution, he said.
Mr. Ward watched the teen closely, and only left the room when the customers arrived. The 14-year-old gave all her money to Mr. Ward, who also had sex with her.
Mr. Ward pleaded guilty to the charges in September. A judge sentenced him to seven years and nine months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, Mr. Crosby said. The judge also ordered Mr. Ward to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $2,600. He was also ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.
“In combating the child prostitution industry, the FBI‘s main objectives are to go after those that exploit these children as well as the recovery of those children being exploited,” Special Agent in Charge Mr. Brian D. Lamkin said. “We have accomplished both of those objectives in this case and feel that whenever we can take an individual like Dmarcus Ward off of the streets, we have made progress in our efforts to protect our children from those who would subject them to such a terrible form of human trafficking.”
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