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  3. Sex Trafficker Sentenced to Over 30 Years in Prison for Forcing Minors to Engage in Commercial Sex

Sex Trafficker Sentenced to Over 30 Years in Prison for Forcing Minors to Engage in Commercial Sex

Release Date: June 7, 2024

HOUSTON — A sex trafficker was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison June 5 for conspiring to traffic minors for commercial sex following a Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA) investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, the Houston Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Javon Yaw Opoku, 23, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to 365 months in federal prison to be followed by 10 years on supervised release. During that time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Opoku will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. Restitution will be determined at a later date.

Opoku pleaded guilty to the charges on June 7, 2023.

“This sex trafficker physically and mentally abused minor victims to force them to engage in commercial sex for his own gain,” said HSI Houston Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of HSI Houston special agents, working in conjunction with their HTRA partners, he will now spend the next three decades behind bars and his victims will be connected with the resources and services that they need to restore their lives.”

From April 2019 to February 2020, Opoku and his co-conspirators recruited young teenage girls and forced them to engage in sex acts with clients for money in cars and hotels around the Bissonnet “blade.” The blade or “track” is an area near 59 Southwest Freeway and Bissonnet Street in Houston where traffickers commonly place their victims to engage in commercial sex.

Opoku and his co-conspirators passed around or reassigned victims between one another, taught each other “the pimp game,” and forced young girls to walk the blade while Opoku and others kept the proceeds.

The young girls were required to pay an exit fee or get “beat out” to switch between pimps. Some traffickers required daily quotas each night from their victims. If the victims failed to meet their daily quotas, they were severely punished through beatings and humiliation.

Co-conspirator Jerreck Michael Hilliard, also known as Jmoney, was sentenced April 12 to 292 months in federal prison.

Opoku will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kate Suh and Anthony Franklyn prosecuted the case with former Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Bennett.

For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate human trafficking in Southeast Texas follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HSIHouston.

Established in 2004, the HTRA combines resources with federal, state and local enforcement agencies and prosecutors, as well as non-governmental service organizations to target human traffickers while providing necessary services to those that the traffickers victimized. Since its inception, HTRA has been recognized as both a national and international model in identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking and prosecuting those engaged in trafficking offenses.

Last Updated: 06/07/2024
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