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James Mozie, 34, Convicted of Sex Trafficking of Minors and Production of Child Pornography

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James Mozie, 34, Convicted of Sex Trafficking of Minors and Production of Child Pornography

Post  Gary Dee on Sat 23 Jun - 11:33



Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that a jury found defendant James Mozie, 34, guilty of all charges against him in United States v. James Mozie. Sentencing has been scheduled for February 28, 2012 before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas.

After a five-day trial, the jury found defendant Mozie guilty of all 10 counts in the indictment, including sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. Mozie was also convicted of production of child pornography.

At trial, seven different victims, many them runaways at the time they met Mozie, testified that they worked or were recruited to work as prostitutes at Mozie’s residence, which he advertised as “The Boom Boom Room.” According to the trial evidence, The Boom Boom Room, also known as Lot 29, operated for more than a year as a house of prostitution. Mozie advertised the business through the use of mass text messages to his contacts letting people know about the activities at the house each night. When customers arrived, they paid a cover charge to the security guard working the front door. The victims, many of them minors, worked in the house dancing for tips and engaging in sexual activity with male customers for money.

Seven victims, all minors when the offenses occurred, testified that when they first arrived at the residence, Mozie had them complete an application asking for information such as name and stage name, date of birth, and specifying what sexual acts they were willing to perform. All of the minor victims testified that they provided their correct dates of birth to Mozie, who advised them not to tell customers that they were underage. Several of the minor victims testified that before working as a prostitute for Mozie, he required them to have sex with him as part of their “orientation,” which he explained was his way of “testing the merchandise.” They also testified that Mozie would take sexually explicit images of them, which he attached to the text messages advertising the brothel.

Co-defendant Laschell “Shelly” Harris pled guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a minor and was sentenced on November 16, 2011 to 13 years in prison. Co-defendant Willie David Rice pled guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and the Minor Vice Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harry Wallace and Corey Steinberg and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Thomas Franzinger of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/fls/PressReleases/111220-04.html



Child sex trafficking charges for Oakland Park couple

My colleague Barbara Hijek and I reported this one yesterday. The investigation is part of an ongoing federal initative called Innocence Lost. There likely will be more arrests of this type to come.

OAKLAND PARK — A green porch light drew men to a private home in Oakland Park known as the Boom Boom Room, where federal agents say children were sold for sex.



At 1 a.m. Saturday, a task force led by the FBI arrested James “Red” Mozie, 34, of Lauderhill, and his girlfriend, Laschell “Shelly” Harris, 37, of Oakland Park.

The couple faces charges of recruiting, providing and maintaining minors for commercial sex in the house Harris rented at 2140 NW 29th St., west of Interstate 95 and Northwest 21st Avenue and south of Oakland Park Boulevard.

Mozie and Harris are in the Broward County main jail in downtown Fort Lauderdale and have detention hearings in federal court set for May 25. If convicted of the child trafficking charge, they could face sentences of 10 years to life in prison.

According to the federal criminal complaint, an investigation began in March after a tip to Broward County Crime Stoppers about minor girls working as prostitutes at the residence.

Agents interviewed a 16-year-old girl identified as A.M., who said she sold her body at the house one Friday night in April after she and her 14-year-old cousin, identified as M.J., were dropped off there by two of M.J.’s male friends.

The complaint states that Mozie brought the girls into the house. A.M. told investigators there were 10 to 15 women and girls — some naked, some in their underwear — who were dancing before a group of men in the living room.

She also told agents that she recognized two of the girls, including one from her class at school, and said that people were drinking and smoking marijuana while adult pornography aired on a big-screen TV.

Men would enter the house and go directly to the kitchen to pay Harris, according to the complaint, while other men acted as security.

A.M. filled out an application form that asked for personal information, such as date of birth, as well as her willingness to perform various sex acts. She told investigators that Mozie knew she was 16.

After smoking marijuana that she believes was laced with something else, A.M. was promised tips for dancing in her underwear and 70 percent of any payments for sex, the complaint states.

Customers were given a 30-minute timer and a condom. The teenager told investigators she was paid $240 for the night, after she performed sex first with one man, then with another man and her cousin, M.J.

A.M. also had sex with Mozie, who told her it was part of her orientation, according to the complaint that says the teenager cried when she realized what she had done.

She told investigators that M.J. was paid about $290 and that Harris tracked payments to each girl and stored cash in a small safe in the kitchen, where there was also a computer.

Armed with a federal search warrant, officers found two 17-year-old girls inside the house with two women and 12 men, the complaint states.

Also collected during the raid: egg timers; boxes of Magnum condoms; many cameras, DVDs and CDs; computers; a roll of tickets; job applications; clear plastic bags holding a leafy green substance; several hundred dollars in cash, and green and red light bulbs.

The arrests were made by members of the Minor Vice Task Force, a group led by the FBI that includes officers from Miami Dade Police, Miami Beach Police, City of Miami Police, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Fort Lauderdale Police. The task force is part of the federal Innocence Lost initiative to investigate crimes against children.

FBI Special Agent Michael Leverock said that no minors were arrested.

Adriane Reesey, chairwoman of the Broward County Human Trafficking Coalition, was pleased to hear of the arrests. She called sex trafficking, “a lucrative criminal enterprise. The profit from the selling of human beings is surpassing [the profits made from] drug trafficking.”

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/crime-and-safety/2011/05/19/child-sex-trafficking-arrests-in-oakland-park/
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