Feds Say Drug Dealers Used Addicted Women as Couriers, Prostitutes
NEW YORK– Members of a drug gang were hit by the feds for trafficking in narcotics and flesh. Prosecutors say the gang used women who were addicts as drug couriers and then pimped them out.
WILLIAM BAZEMORE, WARREN BRYANT, and MARQUIS JACKSON with racketeering, sex trafficking, and drug trafficking offenses.
Two defendants were taken into custody and will be presented and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker later today.
A third defendant is in state custody and will be transferred to federal custody. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As alleged in the indictment, this organization trafficked significant quantities of drugs across the northeast of the United States and forced women, through violence, threats of violence, and coercive tactics, to further the drug business and engage in prostitution for the organization’s financial benefit. Thanks to the extraordinary work of the FBI, the NYPD, and Special Agents in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the defendants will now face justice in federal court.”
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “Today’s charges further affirm the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to protecting the survivors of sex trafficking. This crime is among the most heinous in our society.
“Our job is to ensure that anyone who would seek to profit through the abuse and exploitation of another human being be brought to justice swiftly and successfully. To that end, I thank and commend the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District and the FBI for their unparalleled support in building this critical case.
“Together, we will continue to make the safest large city in the nation even safer.”
As alleged in the Indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court:
WILLIAM BAZEMORE, WARREN BRYANT, and MARQUIS JACKSON were members of a criminal enterprise (the “Organization”) involved in various criminal acts, including drug distribution, sex trafficking, kidnapping, and obstruction of justice, in and around New York City, Maine, and Connecticut. Members and associates of the Organization transported heroin and crack cocaine between New York, Connecticut, and Maine, including by, using female addicts as drug couriers to secrete drugs on their persons and transport drugs and drug proceeds in vehicles controlled by the Organization.
Members and associates of the Organization also exploited female addicts who were drug customers by engaging in, among other things, sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion; the interstate transport of the women for the purpose of prostitution; and kidnapping. Specifically, the Organization used violence and threats of violence to force women to come to New York to engage in prostitution for the benefit of the Organization, or to remain in New York against their will, and took actions to prevent women from cooperating with law enforcement against the Organization.
Count One of the Indictment charges WILLIAM BAZEMORE, a/k/a “Yaya,” a/k/a “Nudie,” a/k/a “Jack,” WARREN BRYANT, a/k/a “Blue,” and MARQUIS JACKSON, a/k/a “CT,” a/k/a “Pootie,” with participating in a racketeering conspiracy for their criminal involvement in the Organization.
Count Two charges BAZEMORE, BRYANT, and JACKSON with participating in a narcotics conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin.
Count Three charges BAZEMORE, BRYANT, and JACKSON with conspiring to commit sex trafficking.
Count Four charges BAZEMORE and BRYANT with engaging in sex trafficking.
Count Five charges BAZEMORE and BRYANT with transporting an individual from Maine to New York for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.
Count Six charges BAZEMORE with using a cellphone and the Internet to promote, manage and carry on a criminal business engaged in sex trafficking and prostitution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.