Jacksonville Man Charged with Federal Human Trafficking, Drug, and Firearms Violations
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 11, 2014|
JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return by a grand jury of an indictment charging Mario Javon Heatly (32, Jacksonville) with human trafficking, drug, and firearms offenses. If convicted on all counts, Heatly faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Heatly that the United States intends to forfeit three firearms recovered by law enforcement.
According to the indictment, between March and November 2013, Heatly used force, threats of force, fraud, and coercion to cause a female victim to engage in commercial sex acts. The indictment also alleges that on different occasions, in 2013 and 2014, Heatly used local hotel rooms for the purposes of manufacturing, distributing, and using controlled substances, including cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin. It further alleges the he unlawfully possessed firearms during his stays at the Jacksonville-area hotels. Heatly was previously convicted of eight separate felonies in Duval County and therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by a joint human trafficking task force composed of investigators from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mac D. Heavener, III.