Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pimp Who Claimed To Be Modeling Agent Sentenced to Prison

THELENIOUS REED, a/k/a "Anthony Thomas," 35, of Mansfield, Texas, was sentenced June 4 by United States District Court Judge Orinda D. Evans to serve 6 years in prison on charges of transporting a victim interstate to work as a prostitute, and persuading, inducing, enticing and coercing a victim to travel across state lines to work as a prostitute.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, "The use of internet websites like 'Craigslist' to facilitate the sexual exploitation of vulnerable young women is a growing problem. Fortunately, the efforts of federal and local law enforcement agencies in this case have freed this victim, and another young woman, from the emotional, psychological and physical harm caused by sex trafficking."

FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Greg Jones said, "The many websites and 'peer to peer' internet sites that provide much utility and enjoyment for our youth can also be used by selfish criminals as a conduit to this unassuming, unaware youth. Today's sentencing serves as an example of not only the perils facing young women on the internet, but also of the ability and determination of law enforcement to step into the cyber-arena to combat such criminal activity."

REED was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison. There is no parole in federal system. He pleaded guilty to the charges on February 2, 2009.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias, and information presented in court: On July 2, 2008, FBI special agents conducted an undercover operation in College Park, Georgia, involving the pimping of underage girls. The investigation began with information one agent saw on an erotic services internet site on "Craigslist" in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, that contained an advertisement for a young woman later identified as the victim. A topless picture of the victim was posted that listed her age as 19 years. However, the agent believed the victim to be younger than age 19. The agent then arranged a date for commercial sex with the victim for July 2, 2008, at a hotel in College Park, Georgia.

When the victim arrived at the hotel for the date, she agreed to be interviewed by the agent, who learned that she was actually 18-years old; that she was transported by REED from her home in Pennsylvania, on June 26, 2008, in his truck; and that REED persuaded her to travel with him because REED told her he was a modeling agent. REED was arrested minutes later sitting inside his truck in the parking lot of the hotel.

The victim told the FBI that after REED picked her up and transported her from her home in Pennsylvania, REED told her that she would be required to engage in sex acts with men to pay for photo shoots and travel expenses. REED then photographed the victim topless in a hotel room, and subsequently placed those pictures on "Craigslist" and other websites advertising erotic services. REED then caused the victim to engage in commercial sex acts with men, for which she was paid $200 - $400. She gave all the money to REED.

The victim then had to travel with REED to Virginia, where REED picked up another young woman from a Greyhound Bus station. This young woman traveled with the victim, REED, and REED's girlfriend from Virginia to the Atlanta area. Upon their arrival in the Atlanta area on June 30, 2008, REED arranged for the victim to engage in more commercial sex acts. Following his arrest, the agents discovered that REED also posted images, in the erotic services section of the "Craigslist" website, of his girlfriend and the other young woman traveling with REED and the victim.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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