Atlanta Man Admits His Role in Operating an Interstate Juvenille Sex Trafficking Enterprise
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 18, 2013|
ALEXANDRIA, VA—Joshua Jacquis Dumas, aka “Hitman,” 21, of Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to running a commercial sex business that prostituted multiple juvenile girls in Herndon, Virginia, and other locations throughout Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The leader of the venture, Edwin Barcus, Jr., pleaded guilty one week ago to founding and leading a child exploitation enterprise.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, II; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Lt. Colonel James A. Morris, Acting Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.
Dumas pleaded guilty to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison when he is sentenced on June 7, 2013.
“Joshua Dumas was a leader in a prostitution ring that profited from selling the bodies of young girls,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “He’s facing at least 20 years in prison for these vile crimes, and we hope other pimps are getting the message that sex trafficking children is not good for business.”
“Dumas recruited, intimidated, and exploited these young girls, selling these children into a life of sexual slavery, keeping them drugged to make them compliant, and making money off it,” said Attorney General Cuccinelli. “We will do everything in our power to stop sex traffickers like Dumas and Barcus from victimizing the most vulnerable among us, and we will put them away for as long as we can.”
“In today’s plea, Joshua Dumas admitted his role in a commercial sex business that preyed upon young girls and lured them into prostitution through deception and intimidation,” said Assistant Director in Charge Parlave. “Along with our law enforcement partners, the FBI is committed to apprehending these predators and ensuring they receive the justice they deserve.”
Dumas admitted that he played an important role in Barcus’ enterprise, serving as a manager and helping recruit juvenile girls to prostitute for the venture. He and others expressed a romantic interest in a particular girl, and then they tried to make prostituting seem glamorous. Sometimes, if a girl refused to work for their enterprise, members of the enterprise would steal her money. Members of the conspiracy carried a semi-automatic pistol for purposes of intimidation and protection.
Dumas admitted that he came to Virginia at the behest of Barcus because of the substantial profits in Virginia. Dumas had been prostituting two girls in Georgia, but he transported these girls via Greyhound bus so that they could prostitute in Herndon, Virginia. The girls were given narcotics to keep them compliant. Dumas admitted that the enterprise also used a juvenile boy to run errands and do counter-surveillance against the police.
Daily, the enterprise posted multiple advertisements on Backpage.com, and sometimes within minutes customers would call. Law enforcement recovered multiple “throwaway” cell phones that customers would call to arrange a “date” with the girls. Customers were then told which hotel to visit but not the room number, which allowed the members of the conspiracy the opportunity to observe the customer and ensure he was not an undercover detective. Once they believed the customer was not a policeman, they would call or text the customer with the room number.
Customers were charged at least $80 for 15 minutes of sex, $100 for 30 minutes, and $200 for 60 minutes. The girls were also instructed to charge more for “extras” and were encouraged to always try to get more money from the customers. The girls generally made at least $500 per day and sometimes made $3,000 per day. The girls were required to give all of their money to Barcus, Dumas, or other members of the enterprise. Some of the money was used to purchase narcotics, such as marijuana, “Molly,” which were given to the girls to induce them to continue prostituting.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Fairfax County Police Department, with assistance from the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Frank and Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Marc J. Birnbaum are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies—along with non-governmental organizations—dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.