Man Who Operated Sex Trafficking Ring Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison
Soloman Mustafa Used Violent Sex Acts, Duct Tape and Handcuffs, and Violence to Prevent Women from Escaping
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 19, 2012|
ATLANTA—The operator of an Atlanta sex trafficking ring who committed violent sexual acts against his victims, bound them with duct tape, took their identification, and committed other atrocities in order to hold them captive was sentenced today to life in prison by United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr.
Soloman Manasseh Mustafa, 38, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, was convicted on July 18, 2012, after an eight-day jury trial of sex trafficking, kidnapping, transporting women across state lines for prostitution, document servitude, and enticement of a minor for sexual activity. His co-defendant, Kalandra Annette Wallace, 25, of Jonesboro, Georgia, pleaded guilty on October 11, 2011, and was sentenced to five years in federal prison.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “This defendant brutally assaulted young women and forced them into acts of prostitution in three states. Many of the victims were beaten, raped, handcuffed, and forced to snort cocaine by the defendant and his co-conspirator. Today’s sentence demonstrates that sex traffickers will pay a heavy price for victimizing young women.”
Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, said, “Today’s sentencing removes a violent predator from the streets and prevents him from harming and exploiting others. The FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH) will continue its hard work in identifying, investigating, and bringing forward for prosecution individuals such as Mustafa who prey on others in such a violent manner.”
According to the indictment and evidence presented during trial: Mustafa and co-defendant Wallace recruited and enticed young women via advertisements on Internet sites such as Craigslist.com and Backpage.com, luring them into prostitution in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Once Mustafa and Wallace began working with the women, however, they physically assaulted many of the victims, prevented them from leaving hotels or apartments, and forced them to engage in commercial sex acts.
During trial, the government presented evidence that two victims were bound with duct tape and placed in a closet. These victims, still bound with duct tape, were ultimately taken against their will to Homewood, Alabama, for the purpose of having sex with men. Other victims were forced to have sex with men and all the money earned by the victims was required to be turned over to Mustafa and Wallace. According to the evidence, one victim had a gun pointed at her head and was ordered to remove her clothes and stand naked in a corner of the room. Other women were forced to inhale a white powdery substance that appeared to be cocaine. Two victims were handcuffed to the bed to keep them from leaving.
The evidence also showed that Mustafa communicated via text messaging with a young girl whom he believed to be 14 years old. In those text messages, he instructed the juvenile to send him photos of herself. Once Mustafa saw the photos, he told the juvenile that she could be his sex slave, and he went to the juvenile’s home to pick her up. The juvenile left her home by tying bed sheets together and climbing out the window. Fortunately, Mustafa let the young girl go in a subdivision close to her home.
Mustafa and Wallace also took the identification, telephones, and wallets of some of the victims, with the purpose of making the victims feel trapped. After one victim escaped, Mustafa and Wallace kept her identification and used it to rent hotel rooms and a house.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes the Atlanta Police Department, the Cobb County Police Department, the Fulton County Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Gwinnett County Police Department, the City of Marietta Police Department, and the Sandy Springs Police Department. Other departments that assisted in the investigation are the Holly Springs Police Department, the DeKalb County Police Department, the Clayton County Police Department, and the Homewood (Alabama) Police Department.
The United States Attorney’ Office maintains information and resources about human trafficking on its website at http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/community/humantrafficking/index.html. If anyone has any information about any human trafficking case, they are encouraged to report that information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 404-679-9000.
Assistant United States Attorneys Yonette Buchanan, Nekia S. Hackworth, and Susan Coppedge prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.Pressemails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.