St. Petersburg Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking Charges
TAMPA, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Derrick L. Hayes, a/k/a “D-Man,” (27, St. Petersburg) pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of children by force or coercion, and two counts of sex trafficking of children by force or coercion. He faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison on each count. Hayes also must register as a sex offender. His sentencing hearing has been set for December 12, 2014.
According to court documents, in December 2012 and January 2013, Hayes conspired with his girlfriend, Keosha Renee Jones, to arrange for two 14-year-old victims to engage in commercial sex acts in St. Petersburg. After meeting the victims, Hayes took them to a residence and directed them to engage in sex acts with his associates. With Hayes’ knowledge, Jones also took the victims to a hotel in St. Petersburg, where the victims engaged in additional sex acts for money. Hayes visited the hotel regularly, collected the proceeds from the sex acts, and directed the victims to engage in additional sex acts with his associates. Hayes also beat and threatened Jones in the victims’ presence, and threatened the victims.
On September 19, 2013, Jones pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy. She is awaiting sentencing.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Clearwater Police Department, the St. Petersburg Police Department, and the Largo Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph W. Swanson and Stacie B. Harris.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.