Florida Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Sex Trafficking of Minors

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Washington, D.C. -- May 7, 2012 --

James Mozie of Oakland Park, Fla., was sentenced today to life in prison on charges of sex trafficking of minors and production of child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami Field Office.

Mozie, 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in the Southern District of Florida. In addition to the life prison term, Mozie was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release.

On Dec. 20, 2011, Mozie was found guilty of all 10 counts against him, including sex trafficking of minors, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and production of child pornography.

At trial, seven different victims, many minor 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 one 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 taking place at the house each night. When customers arrived, they paid a cover charge to the security guard working the front door. The females, many of them minors, worked in the house dancing for tips and engaging in sexual activity with male customers for money.

The seven victims, all minors when the offenses occurred, testified that when they first arrived at the residence, Mozie asked them to complete an application with information such as name, stage name, date of birth and the 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 pictures of them, which he attached to the text messages advertising the brothel.

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

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Broward County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office Minor Vice Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harry Wallace and Corey Steinberg of the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Thomas Franzinger of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

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