Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven today sentenced Jamel Muldrew (34, Houston, Texas) to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison for sex trafficking a minor, enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, use of a facility of interstate commerce in aid of racketeering, and interstate transportation of a person for prostitution. As part of his sentence, the court also ordered Muldrew to pay $27,740 in restitution to Victim 1, to forfeit electronic devices used in the commission of the offense, and to register as a sex offender. Muldrew had pleaded guilty on March 10, 2022.
According to court documents, on April 9, 2021, law enforcement coordinated an operation in Tampa to identify victims of human trafficking, rescue those victims, and identify and arrest their traffickers. As part of this operation, an undercover officer arranged with the minor victim to engage in prostitution in exchange for $800 at a local hotel. Muldrew arrived at the hotel driving the minor victim and was arrested on state charges. At the time of his arrest, officers recovered multiple fictious identity cards on Muldrew’s person, for both himself and the minor victim. The subsequent investigation revealed that Muldrew had been trafficking the minor victim across the country to engage in prostitution. Specifically, from February until April 2021, Muldrew had trafficked the minor victim for the purpose of commercial sex in Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, where he was ultimately arrested.
“This heinous predator trafficked his minor victim around the country to engage in prostitution, including in Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kristopher Pagitt, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa. “The success of this investigation is a direct result of the outstanding law enforcement partnerships we have in the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force, to include the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston (Texas) Police Department, as well as non-governmental organizations such as Selah-Freedom.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Houston Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ilyssa M. Spergel and Carlton C. Gammons.
This case was brought as part of the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force of the Middle District of Florida, which is one of 13 task forces in the country to receive grant funding from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Task Force is a collaboration of local, state, and federal law enforcement agents working together with organizations to detect, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking in the Tampa Bay area. This includes trafficking of minors, forced labor, transnational sex trafficking, and sex trafficking of adults by force, fraud, or coercion. More information about the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force can be found at www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/humantrafficking. Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.