Often when you think of human trafficking you think of big cities and immigrants being conned into servitude. A recent case, crossing state lines from Maryland to small town Ohio, however, proves this isn’t always the case.
Four men are accused of running a prostitution ring and recruiting women and girls as young as 16 in the Chillicothe area. The business was run out of a Maryland apartment, but the men allegedly did their recruiting and drug sales in the area north of Columbus.
The recruits were given promises of partying and a good time and then often held against their will, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The men are accused of getting the women addicted to drugs and then exploiting that addiction, requiring them to prostitute themselves to earn their “fix”.
The case was blown open when one of the women agreed to provide “services” to an undercover officer. Because the case crossed state lines, the men faced several federal charges. Sex and drug offenses at both the federal and state level stood to send these men to prison for lengthy terms.
All four were sentenced after accepting plea agreements. There was a 17.5 year sentence, two for 15 years, and one for 10.
Each of the four men had varying criminal histories, with the ringleader having perhaps the cleanest record. One of the others had 30 misdemeanor arrests and a prior prison sentence, all of which, no doubt, played a role at sentencing.
Whether at the state or federal level, it is not unusual to face a multitude of charges stemming from one event. Multiple charges can lead to multiple sentences and the potential to serve a lot of time.
Plea agreements are used in the majority of criminal cases here in Ohio and across the country. In this case, each many stood to serve a life sentence if convicted on all charges. The plea bargain lessened this potential sentence.
If you are facing criminal drug charges, soliciting a prostitute or related sex offenses, or any other criminal charges and need help about plea agreements or your potential sentence, contact us today.