A Delaware man was sentenced today to 21 years in prison for trafficking minor and young adult victims throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Anthony Jones, 38, of Wilmington, Delaware, was convicted by a federal jury in April 2019 following a 14-day trial. Jones was found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors by force, fraud or coercion, and of sex trafficking three minors by force, fraud or coercion. According to evidence presented at trial and court documents, Jones and his codefendants – Dkyle Bridges and Kristian Jones – ran a prostitution enterprise in which girls and young women were sex trafficked throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and elsewhere. Bridges was the violent ringleader who used force and threats to cause the victims to engage in commercial sex acts. Kristian and Anthony Jones helped Bridges run the ring, including by providing security and reserving hotel rooms. The investigation began in November 2016 when local police rescued minors who had been advertised for prostitution on Backpage.com, and subsequent investigation uncovered additional victims.
Jones was also sentenced to 10 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $15,160 in restitution to the victims.
Bridges was sentenced in March 2021 to 35 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $53,000 in restitution to the victims. Kristian Jones was sentenced in June 2021 to 20 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $15,160 in restitution to the victims.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office investigated the case with substantial assistance from the Tinicum Township Police Department; Newark Police Department; Delaware State Police; Philadelphia Police Department; Delaware River & Bay Authority and Wilmington Police Department.
Trial Attorney Jessica L. Urban of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Priya T. De Souza of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.