Franklin County Man Sentenced on Human Trafficking Charges
ROANOKE, VA—A Franklin County man, who forced a local woman to engage in prostitution through the use of physical violence and threats, was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke, United States Attorney Anthony P. Giorno announced.
Tremayne Rontae Kirby, 25, of Franklin County, Virginia, pled guilty in August to one count of recruiting, harboring and causing an individual, listed as “Victim One” in the Indictment, to engage in commercial sex through force, threats of force, fraud and coercion (Human Trafficking) and one count of using interstate commerce to promote an enterprise involving prostitution. Yesterday in District Court, Kirby was sentenced to 15 years of federal incarceration to be followed by 10 years of supervised release thereafter. Kirby will also pay $11,000 in restitution to “Victim One.”
Kirby, who was indicted earlier this year, admitted that he, along with other individuals, operated a prostitution enterprise involving multiple women in Virginia, North Carolina and New Jersey. Kirby used the money generated from the prostitution enterprise to pay for hotels, buy illegal drugs and provide food for himself and the women he used. The defendant posted prostitution advertisements on Internet websites, which included pictures of the women and prices for their services. Kirby secured hotel rooms and transportation for meetings with “Johns.”
From January 2014-May 2014, Kirby prostituted “Victim One.” Kirby admitted that on many occasions, Victim One did not want to engage in sex acts but did so at the defendant’s insistence. To gain Victim One’s compliance, Kirby hit, body-slammed, shook, and threatened her. Kirby also regularly carried a gun in his waistband. Victim One had a drug habit, which was fed by Kirby and the lifestyle in which she was forced to live. At times Kirby withheld drugs until she performed prostitution services. Kirby kept virtually all of the proceeds Victim One generated through the compelled prostitution activity.
The investigation of the case was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Roanoke City Police Department and the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office. United States Attorney Anthony P. Giorno and Assistant United States Attorney Laura Day Rottenborn prosecuted the case for the United States.
This prosecution highlights the benefits to law enforcement that come from cooperative participation in a regional task force that targets sex and labor trafficking offenders. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, along with partner agencies throughout the western portion of Virginia, formed the Western District of Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force, a group that is actively engaging in the education, investigation and prosecution of crimes involving human trafficking. This task force has educated local police departments throughout the state on investigative techniques to better prepare them to identify cases of human trafficking, victim/witness personnel, juvenile justice workers, and non-government organizations that assist trafficking victims. The task force also meets and shares information about ongoing cases.