STRATFORD, Conn. -- A former resident of Hartford was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for sex trafficking of minors at hotels in Stratford and Milford.
Wellington "Jamal" Brown, 26, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton to 126 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release.
“This defendant recruited and manipulated vulnerable young girls luring them into the cruel world of sex trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly. “He exploited these girls for months, having them commit sex acts for money, and keeping most all of the profits for himself.
"Prosecuting these offenses is a top priority for our office and the Department of Justice. Those who sexually exploit minors will be held accountable in federal court and sentenced to significant time in prison."
According to court statements and documents, Brown, with the aid of Sheena Dume, recruited five different minor victims to engage in prostitution.
Brown used expensive jewelry and vehicles to lure his victims with the prospect of making large sums of money. He also recruited victims with fictitious modeling career prospects.
Brown reportedly photographed his victims to advertise prostitution on websites such as backpage.com, provided them with marijuana and covered expenses such as hotel rooms, condoms, food and transportation.
The victims received only a small portion of the tens of thousands of dollars earned for Brown.
Brown and Dume were arrested on July 30, 2014. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor and five counts of sex trafficking of a minor on March 26, 2015.
Dume pleaded guilty to the same offenses on Feb. 18, 2015, and is awaiting sentencing.
A Jamaican citizen, Brown faces possible deportation after his prison term.
"We thank the FBI, the Milford and Stratford Police Departments, and the Connecticut State Police for their diligent work in this investigation," said Daly. "We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to rescue girls and young women from brutal environments and to prosecute those who are responsible for and profit from this reprehensible conduct.”
Assustant U.S. Attorneys David Novick and Marc Silverman prosecuted this case.