Two Alabama men were sentenced today to more than 16 years in prison for the sex trafficking of minors, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. of the Middle District of Alabama, Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson, Special Agent in Charge Jere T. Miles of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New Orleans and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.
Michael Graham Lowe, 25, of Prattville, Alabama, was sentenced to serve 220 months in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release for the sex trafficking of a minor and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor. Joshua David Rose, 30, also of Prattville, Alabama, was sentenced to serve 200 months in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release for the sex trafficking of a minor. The defendants were sentenced by U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler of the Northern District of Alabama, who ordered both Lowe and Rose to pay restitution in the amount of $560 to one victim and ordered Rose to pay an additional $7,140 in restitution to two victims.
Rose pleaded guilty in August 2017. Lowe was found guilty after a four-day trial in February 2018. According to evidence presented at trial, in May 2016, Lowe, along with Rose, trafficked a minor victim out of a motel in Montgomery, Alabama. Evidence presented at trial showed that Rose, with the assistance of Lowe, advertised the victim on Backpage.com, arranged meetings for the victim to engage in commercial sex acts, and stood watch outside of the motel room while the victim engaged in commercial sex acts. Testimony showed that Lowe also transported the minor victim to another location to engage in a commercial sex act. Testimony at trial showed that Lowe and Rose used the profits made from the victim’s commercial sex acts to purchase illegal narcotics.
“Michael Lowe and Joshua Rose preyed on and trafficked a minor girl, using Backpage.com to arrange meetings for the victim to engage in sex for money that the defendants used to purchase illegal narcotics,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan. “Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the prosecutors and agents who worked on this very important case, Rose and Lowe will be held accountable for their reprehensible crimes, and some measure of justice has been achieved for the victim they so cruelly exploited.”
“There is no place in our community for those who prey on children,” said U.S. Attorney Franklin. “I hope that these lengthy sentences send a clear message that exploiting and prostituting a child will not be tolerated. I am grateful for the hard work of everyone involved in this case, but I would like to extend a special thank you to the Prattville Police Department, who initiated this investigation. I pledge that my office will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners to bring predators like these to justice.”
“The Prattville Police Department is grateful for the relationship we have with the U.S Attorney’s Office and all the agencies involved in this case,” said Prattville Police Chief Thompson. “These sentences should send a strong message to anyone committing these types of crimes that we will work hard to find you and send you to prison. We are very proud of our Criminal Intelligent Unit for the effort they put into this case. It shows that Prattville PD is very proactive and we will continue to develop better ways to combat crime.”
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and the threats and abuse inflicted on these particular victims only adds to the heinous nature of the crime,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Miles. “HSI is committed to working with our federal, state and local partners to find and prosecute criminal traffickers while ensuring the victims of this terrible crime are rescued and get the care they need.”
“These men cruelly exploited the vulnerability of their young victim and the severity of their crimes more than warrants the long prison sentences they have received,” said Alabama Attorney General Marshall. “Human trafficking is a horrific crime that traps its victims in a life of misery and abuse. This prosecution was the result of a long and painstaking investigation by many agents and officers. I applaud the diligence of the Prattville Police Department, which initiated these cases, working with agents of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and assisted by the Montgomery Police Department. I also want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its successful prosecution to bring these criminals to justice. As Alabama’s Attorney General, I am committed to continue this kind of cooperative and dedicated teamwork among agencies, which is the key to making our state a safer place.”
This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Prattville, Alabama Police Department, with assistance from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the Montgomery, Alabama Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Leslie Williams Fisher of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Hollie Worley Reed of the Middle District of Alabama.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Official news published at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-alabama-men-sentenced-prison-sex-trafficking