NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – A man was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for human trafficking and prostituting women and children in Eastern Carolina.
According to the Department of Justice, Brandon Marquis Jennings of Raleigh received a life sentence in United States District Court in New Bern. According to court records, Jennings was found guilty of the charges last June for crimes dating back between 2013 to 2016.
In court, victims told investigators and the jury that Jennings would use a number of techniques to get each of them to trust and rely on him and would then convince them to work with him and commercially prostitute themselves.
Once they started, Jennings would use a variety of methods to intimidate them and to ensure they remained “willing” to engage in prostitution. At times, they said he would physically and mentally abuse them, deprive them of food and he would withhold all their money, rendering them helpless and unable to leave.
United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. said, “Today Brandon Jennings received a sentence he richly deserved. He was convicted of crimes we call human trafficking – that is, exploiting a person for labor, service or commercial sex. But, in reality, Jennings was running a form of modern-day slavery. He exploited some of our most vulnerable citizens, effectively imprisoned them, treated them as less than human and sold them out for sex to line his own pockets. My office and the entire Justice Department are focused on these crimes and we are committed to prosecuting anyone involved and to ridding our communities of this horrendous offense.”
Jennings was charged with 13 counts related to the prostitution and human trafficking activities: two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; two counts of sex trafficking of a minor; one count involving the manufacture of child pornography; six counts of interstate transportation for purposes of engaging in prostitution (often referred to as violations of the Mann Act); one count involving the use of the internet to promote an unlawful business, namely a
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