U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Arkansas
(501) 340-2600
March 18, 2015

Fort Smith Man Arraigned for Sex Trafficking of Two Minor Females

FORT SMITH, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Odis Charles Grant, Jr. age 29 of Fort Smith, appeared today in Magistrate Court before United States Magistrate Judge Mark E. Ford for arraignment on two counts of knowingly transporting minors with the intent that the individuals engage in prostitution.

U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “Human trafficking and child sex trafficking are horrendous, despicable crimes. We will vigorously enforce federal criminal laws against human trafficking, including against those who seek out, promote, and use minors for prostitution. We will do so across the Western District of Arkansas.”

On November 23, 2014, two juvenile residents of Fort Smith Arkansas were transported from the Western District of Arkansas to Texas by Grant with the intent that the two minor females engage in prostitution in the Houston, Texas area. In doing so, Grant utilized the Internet service of backpage.com to promote prostitution of the minors. The statutory penalty for sex trafficking is not less than ten years and not more than life, not more than $250,000 fine, or both.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Smith Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Aaron Jennen and Assistant United States Attorney Ashleigh Buckley are prosecuting the case for the United States.

The charges in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless or until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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