Tampa, Florida –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Jamel Muldrew (33, Houston, TX) has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor, coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, use of a facility of interstate commerce in aid of racketeering, and interstate transportation of a person for prostitution. Muldrew faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, on April 9, 2021, law enforcement coordinated an operation in Tampa, Florida to identify victims of human trafficking, rescue those victims, and identify and arrest their traffickers. As part of this operation, an undercover officer observed what appeared to be a potentially underage female in an online escort advertisement and arranged for the minor victim to meet him at a hotel room for a commercial sex act, in exchange for $800. Soon thereafter, Muldrew arrived at the location driving a black Chevrolet Impala, with the minor victim in the passenger seat. The victim exited the vehicle, walked to the hotel room and entered, and was detained. As law enforcement approached Muldrew, he attempted to flee but was ultimately apprehended. At the time of his arrest, officers recovered multiple fictious identity cards Muldrew had in his possession, for both himself and the minor victim. The subsequent investigation revealed that Muldrew had been trafficking the minor victim across the country to engage in prostitution. Specifically, between February and April 2021, Muldrew had trafficked the minor victim for the purpose of commercial sex in Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, where he was ultimately arrested.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Houston Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilyssa M. Spergel and Carlton C. Gammons.
This case was brought as part of the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force of the Middle District of Florida, which is one of 13 task forces in the country to receive grant funding from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Task Force is a collaboration of local, state, and federal law enforcement agents working together with organizations to detect, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking in the Tampa Bay area. This includes trafficking of minors, forced labor, transnational sex trafficking, and sex trafficking of adults by force, fraud, or coercion. More information about the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force can be found at www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/humantrafficking. Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.U.S Department of Justice