Two men plead guilty in sex trafficking case

Published 11:09 am Friday, August 11, 2017

Two Memphis men admitted they brought women to Oxford on several occasions for prostitution purposes Thursday when they pleaded guilty at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Aberdeen.

Ricky “Slick Rick” Robertson, 24, and Ladarius “Dee Don” Jackson, 25 both entered guilty pleas on sex trafficking charges before Chief U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock.

Robertson entered a guilty plea to sex trafficking conspiracy, which can carry a sentence of life in prison; however, prosecutors agreed to recommend that the sentence not exceed 20 years in federal prison.

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Jackson entered a guilty plea to traveling in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution, which can carry a 10-year prison sentence.

Both Robertson and Jackson admitted to transporting prostitutes from Memphis to Oxford in order to engage in commercial sex acts.

According to court records, Robertson admitted that between Dec. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2015, he was trafficking prostitutes through fraud and coercion by controlling the money they earned from commercial sex.

“As with any major case that comes through our area we are always grateful for the partnerships we have with the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, our U.S. Attorney and the FBI,” said OPD Chief Joey East. “Most importantly I am proud that we were all able to work together to solve this case. Human trafficking is a serious problem and we want to make sure would-be criminals know we will not tolerate it in our area.”

Robertson and Jackson are currently scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 6, 2017 in the U.S. District Court in Aberdeen.

It wasn’t the first arrests involving prostitution in Oxford by people from Memphis.

In August 2015, four women were arrested and charged with prostitution, as part of a joint effort to identify and rescue human trafficking victims, dubbed Innocence Lost Nationwide Initiative.

OPD, along with local branches of both the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Attorney General’s office, worked jointly on the case, along with the Oxford and Lafayette Metro Narcotics Unit. During the investigation, it was discovered that appointments were being made through an online site and the encounters were made at local hotels at a prearranged date and time.

In January 2016, two Memphis women were charged with promoting prostitution at Oxford hotels and in May this year, two Georgia residents were arrested for allegedly kidnapping a woman in Georgia and bringing her to Oxford for the purpose of using her for prostitution.

“Human trafficking is modern day slavery, and will not be tolerated in Mississippi,” said Christopher Freeze, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “Human trafficking is believed to be the third largest criminal activity in the world. We will continually seek out those who traffic women, children and the underprivileged for illicit gain.”