Colorado Man Pleads Guilty to Transporting Women to Work as Prostitutes
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 07, 2014|
NEWARK, NJ—A Colorado man today admitted his role in a conspiracy to transport women across state lines for prostitution in New Jersey and other states, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
James Roy Smith, 36, a/k/a “Mister Smith,” of Lakewood, Colorado, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to a superseding information charging him with conspiracy to transport women across state lines to work as prostitutes and transportation of a victim across state lines with the intent that the victim work as a prostitute.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From February 2009 through June 27, 2010, Smith conspired to operate a prostitution business in numerous locations around the United States, including New Jersey, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania. The women would be transported between states by air, as well as in a Cadillac Escalade registered to Smith’s uncle. In order to attract and locate local customers, the conspirators would place advertisements for escort services on Craigslist, as well as Backpage.com.
Smith admitted that in late June 2010, he conspired to transport six women from New Jersey to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to work as prostitutes. During that time, while checked in at the Econolodge in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he also caused a victim to be transported between these two states with the intent that the victim work as a prostitute.
The count of interstate transportation for the purpose of engaging in prostitution is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and the count of conspiracy to engage in that same offense is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. Both counts are also punishable by a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for April 29, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked FBI offices in Omaha, Nebraska, and Salt Lake City, Utah; the Union County, New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office; the Elizabeth, New Jersey Police Department; and the Clay County, Nebraska Sheriff’s Office for their roles.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Leslie F. Schwartz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.