Defendant Vincent Jones, aka “Pistol Pete,” Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 06, 2012|
MEMPHIS—Edward L. Stanton, III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced today that Vincent Jones, 24, also known as “Pistol Pete,” pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to traffic minors into prostitution by force, fraud, and coercion.
As part of the guilty plea, Jones admitted that in July and August 2011, he and his co-defendant, Kala Bray, 18, provided two Memphis-area juveniles with enough Oxycontin and Xanax to impair and incapacitate them and then lured them to Houston, Texas, with false promises of a trip to a water park. Jones admitted that he and Bray instead took the juveniles to a Houston hotel and advertised them for prostitution on backpage.com. Jones stated that he and Bray made the juveniles engage in commercial sex acts in both Memphis and Houston. He further admitted that he and Bray physically abused the juveniles.
The indictment states that the juveniles were rescued in Houston after one of them escaped from the hotel room where she was being held and called the police.
Jones faces up to a life sentence for the conspiracy charge. As part of the plea, the United States agreed to dismiss other charges related to the conspiracy. Jones is set to be sentenced on October 5, 2012, by United States District Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. Kala Bray entered a similar guilty plea on November 4, 2011, and also faces a potential life sentence. Her sentencing is set on August 3, 2012, also in front of Judge Mays.
“Anyone who engages in violent or sexual exploitation of vulnerable individuals, especially children, will and should face severe consequences,” said United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III. “This district has earned its reputation as one of the most aggressive districts in the country when it comes to prosecuting modern day slavery acts of sex trafficking, and we will continue to build that reputation at every opportunity.”
“Cases like this one are why it is so important for the FBI and its law enforcement partners to continue to target, investigate, and work to eradicate this form of modern-day slavery,” said Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Those who prey on weak, vulnerable children in order to profit must be brought to justice.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Memphis Police Department, and the Bartlett Police Department, in conjunction with the Houston FBI’s Human Trafficking Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Skrmetti is prosecuting the case.