RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A North Carolina man was sentenced to life in prison for human trafficking, United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced on Tuesday.
From 2013 until late 2016, Brandon Marquis Jennings prostituted women and children in North Carolina and other parts of the United States, according to court documents and evidence presented during the trial in June.
Victims told investigators that Jennings would get each of the victims to trust and rely on him, convincing the victims to work with him and commercially prostitute themselves, a news release said.
The victims said once they started, Jennings would intimidate them and made sure they were “willing” to engage in prositution.
At times, Jennings would physically and mentally abuse the victims, deprive them of food and withhold all their money, making the victims helpless and unable to leave, the attorney said in a news release.
“Jennings was charged with 13 counts related to the prostitution and human trafficking activities: two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; two counts of sex trafficking of a minor; one count involving the manufacture of child pornography; six counts of interstate transportation for purposes of engaging in prostitution (often referred to as violations of the Mann Act); one count involving the use of the internet to promote an unlawful business, namely a prostitution business; and one count of interstate transportation of a minor for illegal sexual activity,” the news release said.
In June of 2019, Jennings was convicted of all 13 counts following a jury trial in New Bern.
Today Brandon Jennings received a sentence he richly deserved. He was convicted of crimes we call human trafficking – that is, exploiting a person for labor, service or commercial sex. But, in reality, Jennings was running a form of modern-day slavery. He exploited some of our most vulnerable citizens, effectively imprisoned them, treated them as less than human and sold them out for sex to line his own pockets. My office and the entire Justice Department are focused on these crimes and we are committed to prosecuting anyone involved and to ridding our communities of this horrendous offense.UNITED STATES ATTORNEY ROBERT J. HIGDON, JR.