Tennessee man gets 2-year sentence in multi-state sex trafficking case

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A Tennessee man convicted in a multi-state sex-trafficking case has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.

The FBI and a federal prosecutor said in a news release Friday that Mario D. Collins, 37, of Memphis, Tennessee, was sentenced Thursday in Mississippi by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills. Collins was convicted in December of transporting for prostitution.

An investigation by the FBI and police in Oxford, Mississippi, showed Collins and Paulette Clayton, 26, of Memphis, forcefully took an 18-year-old woman from Atlanta to Oxford to engage in prostitution, prosecutors said.

Collins and Clayton both threatened the woman after she objected to performing sex for money and asked to be taken home, investigators said in court records. Evidence presented at trial showed police received a 911 call April 27, 2017, indicating the woman was being held against her will.

Clayton was also convicted in December of transporting for prostitution, and she was sentenced May 31 to three years’ probation.

“Human trafficking in any form is reprehensible, and those who promote trafficking human beings for sex or labor are not welcome in our communities,” Christopher Freeze, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Mississippi, said in the news release Friday.

William C. Lamar, U.S. attorney for northern Mississippi, said federal and local officials will continue working together to stop trafficking.

“Women, many of whom are very young, are often coerced into prostitution by predators, taken advantage of, and are frequently victims of violence,” Lamar said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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