Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has sentenced Michael Davis (37, Jamaica, NY) to 10 years and 10 months in federal prison for conspiring and attempting to engage in the sex trafficking of a minor. Davis was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.
A jury had found Davis guilty on April 9, 2021.
According to evidence presented at trial, in August 2017, Davis began using a social networking website to recruit young women to engage in commercial sex. In December 2017, Davis and a co-conspirator, Samantha Broadhead, used the website to send a message to an individual whom he believed was a 17-year-old girl living in Denver, Colorado. Unbeknownst to Davis, he was communicating online and by telephone with an undercover agent who was investigating individuals who engage in child sex trafficking.
Over the course of several weeks, Davis conspired with Broadhead to attempt to recruit, entice, transport, and obtain the purported 17-year-old girl to travel to the Tampa Bay area so that he could cause the “child” to engage in commercial sex. In an effort to persuade the “child,” Davis discussed the lavish lifestyle that the “child” could have and sent photos depicting large amounts of cash and marijuana. Davis orchestrated the purchase of a one-way bus ticket for the notional “child” and promised to pick her up from the bus station. The day before the “child” was expected to arrive in Tampa, federal agents coordinated with local law enforcement officers to detain Davis. Davis admitted, among other things, that he had been communicating with the “child” and that he had also purchased a bus ticket for the “child.”
During the course of the investigation, Davis made threats to Broadhead in an effort to coerce her to retract her own statements to law enforcement and report that she was the main person, not Davis, who had been communicating with the undercover agent.
Broadhead previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in the sex trafficking of a minor. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 2, 2021.
Special Agent in Charge, Michael F. McPherson stated, “Individuals attempting to engage in the sex trafficking of minors represent an abhorrent threat to our children. The FBI and its law enforcement partners collaborate each day to identify, investigate, and stop those conducting this heinous crime.”
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau Investigation, with assistance from the Largo Police Department and the Tampa Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.
This case resulted from the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s efforts to collaborate with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to detect, investigate, and prosecute coercive human trafficking in the Tampa area. This includes the trafficking of minors, forced labor, transnational sex trafficking, and sex trafficking of adults by force, fraud, or coercion. Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.