A Federal Grand Jury in Greenville, SC has returned a multi-count Indictment against 7 Spartanburg men.
The following men were charged in the indictment:
Brandon L. Littlejohn, age 26
D’Shawn C. Pitts, age 19
Dylan L. Patterson, age 19
Michael G. Riddle, age 20
Michael D. Whitaker, age 25
John A. Gossett, III, age, 22
Bryson L. Stewart, age 23
The charges are:
• Conspiracy to traffic in children by force for the purposes of prostitution in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1594(c),
• Substantive counts charging each coconspirator with trafficking in children in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1591, and
• The transportation of minors in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in sexual activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2423.
The indictment alleges that the men recruited minor victims and young women to work for them, and then instructed and supervised the minor victims and young women on how to solicit and charge for commercial sex acts.
The indictment also states that the conspirators “would and did physically beat or threaten to physically beat the minor victims and young women to scare and control them.”
U.S. Attorney Nettles said, “Because human trafficking takes a great personal and psychological toll on the victims and society as a whole, this office and our federal and state partners are committed to devoting the resources required so that all allegations of human trafficking in South Carolina are investigated.”
“The defendants stand accused of exploiting under aged girls through a sex trafficking scheme across multiple states,” said Special Agent in Charge Nick S. Annan, head of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta. “Thanks to some excellent police work by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and my special agents, we have rescued a number of victims and the perpetrators will be brought before the court to face justice.”
The maximum penalty the Defendants could face is life imprisonment, and/or a fine of $250,000, and five years of supervised release.