Federal Indictment Charges South Carolina Man with Sex Trafficking of a Minor
CHARLOTTE, NC—A South Carolina man charged with sex trafficking of a minor was arrested yesterday in Columbia, S.C., announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. On April 22, 2015, a federal grand jury returned the two-count criminal indictment against Martin Allen Meggett, 27, of West Columbia, S.C.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division and Sheriff Bruce Bryant of the York County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina join Acting U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.
The indictment alleges that on or about September 9, 2014 and September 10, 2014, in Mecklenburg County, Meggett knowingly harbored, transported, provided and obtained by any means a person he knew was under 18 for the purpose of engaging in a commercial sex act. The indictment also alleges that Meggett transported the minor across state lines for the purposes of prostitution.
Following his arrest, Meggett had his initial appearance in federal court in Columbia where he remains in federal custody. He will be transferred to the Western District of North Carolina to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge when the court schedules his arraignment and detention hearings.
The penalty for each count is a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. The charges contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The investigation of the case was jointly handled by the FBI and the York County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution of the case is handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimlani Ford, of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Charlotte.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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.projectsafechildhood.gov.