Monday, April 20, 2015

Two Charged for Attempting to Kill a Man Believed to be a Federal Witness Related to Sex Trafficking Organization

In a third superseding indictment unsealed, two men were charged with witness tampering by attempting to kill him and for conspiring with each other to do so. These charges were brought in addition to charges previously filed against one of the men involving a multi-state sex trafficking ring that victimized minor and adult women.

Jaquan Casanova a/k/a “Cass,” “Joffe,” “Joffy,” and “Joffy Joe,” 24, of Dorchester was charged for the first time in a third superseding indictment for tampering with a witness by attempting to kill him and for making false statements to a federal agent. Raymond Jeffreys, a/k/a “Skame Dollarz,” “Skame,” “Skamen,” “Define Dollarz,” and “Frenchy,” 27, of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Portland, Maine; and Corey Norris, a/k/a “Case,” and “Jacorey Johnson,” 25, of Dorchester, were also charged in the third superseding indictment. Jeffreys was charged alongside Casanova with tampering with a witness by attempting to kill him and with conspiring with each other to do so. In addition, Jeffreys and Norris were charged again with the multiple sex trafficking counts brought against them in previous indictments.

Specifically, the third superseding indictment charges Jeffreys and Norris with the trafficking and transportation of nine victims, six of whom were under the age of 18, for the purposes of prostitution in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Nevada, Georgia, Florida and California. The charges of tampering with a witness by attempting to kill that witness are related to this sex trafficking organization. The initial indictment in the case, returned in March 2013, charged Norris, Darian Thomson, a/k/a “Bo,” “Dee Bo,” and a woman named Vanessa Grandoit with sex trafficking of a minor from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in December 2012. According to the allegations in the third superseding indictment, in April 2013, Thomson was released from state custody on unrelated state charges in New Jersey and returned to Boston, where he was shot in the head by Casanova at the direction of Jeffreys. The third superseding indictment alleges that Jeffreys believed that Thomson had cooperated with law enforcement in New Jersey and directed the shooting of Thomson with the intent to kill him in order to prevent Thomson from providing information to federal law enforcement regarding his and Norris’ sex trafficking activities.

The third superseding indictment also re-alleges that, at various times from 2006 through 2014, Jeffreys, Norris, and others trafficked the victims for prostitution by force, fraud or coercion and, in the cases of the minor girls, knowing or in reckless disregard that they were under the age of 18. The third superseding indictment contains specific allegations regarding the sex trafficking operation, such as that Jeffreys targeted vulnerable girls and women, including those who were poor and/or homeless, drug addicts, and those who were already working as prostitutes or who had done so in the past. Many of the women either had children when they met Jeffreys and/or became pregnant with his child. Jeffreys used a variety of techniques to persuade and manipulate the women, including making promises about providing for them and their children, and then only doing so if the women performed acts of prostitution. Jeffreys used a variety of techniques to control the girls and women through force, fraud, coercion and a combination of those means, including by threatening the women that he would kill them. The third superseding indictment also alleges that Jeffreys worked with other men as “pimp partners” or “p partners” to share resources, such as car rides, hotel rooms, and payment for online advertisements. Jeffreys taught other men, including Norris and Thomson how to engage in sex trafficking, and these men became “pimp partners” with Jeffreys.

The charge of tampering with a witness by attempting to kill him or conspiring to do so provides a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. Each of the charges of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of a lifetime in prison, a minimum of five years and a maximum of a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. Each of the charges of sex trafficking of a minor provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of a lifetime in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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