Maryland Man Convicted of Transporting a Minor Across State Lines for Prostitution
RICHMOND, VA—Mustafa Muhammad, 36, of Clinton, Maryland, was convicted yesterday by a federal jury of transportation of a minor across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.
Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Richmond Field Office; and Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne.
Muhammad faces a maximum penalty of life in prison with a mandatory-minimum term of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on September 11, 2014.
Muhammad was indicted on April 15, 2014, by a federal grand jury for transportation of a minor in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution. According to evidence at trial, Muhammad met a 16-year old runaway online in February 2014, and then began communicating with her via text message. Later that month, Muhammad and the juvenile met in person in Maryland, and Muhammad posted an advertisement on backpage.com featuring the juvenile and offering her for prostitution. The juvenile provided Muhammad some of the money she made from prostitution. In March 2014, Muhammad suggested that they travel to Virginia for the juvenile to work in prostitution, and, so, on March 14, 2014, Muhammad drove the juvenile from Maryland to a Holiday Inn in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Muhammad then posted another advertisement on backpage.com in Fredericksburg, advertising the juvenile for prostitution. A Stafford Sheriff’s deputy was looking for possible prostitution activity on backpage.com and discovered the juvenile’s ad. He then arranged to meet the juvenile and discovered that she was a 16-year old runaway.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, and Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather L. Hart is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:14-cr-055.