TOLEDO — A federal court judge on Thursday reduced a life prison sentence he had handed down a week earlier to a Lima man said to be one of the masterminds behind a regional human trafficking ring to a 30-year prison term.
Another Lima man involved in the sex trafficking scheme did receive a sentence of life in prison during Thursday’s hearings.
U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zuhary sentenced Lorenzo Young, 31, of Lima, to life for his role in the human trafficking network based in Lima that was the subject of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation starting in November 2015.
Aundre Davis, 35, of Lima, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on charges that included sex trafficking of a minor and transporting a minor with the intent of prostitution. Zuhary last week had handed down a life prison sentence for Davis but reportedly had second thoughts about that decision and subsequently reduced Davis’ sentence to 30 years behind bars.
According to court documents, the FBI was looking at Davis, Young and others who were using a website to promote escorts and then taking two underage girls to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to have sex. Law enforcement arrested them as part of an undercover bust and rescued the girls, one 14 and one 16.
According to law enforcement officials, the scheme used sites on the internet such as Backpage.com under the topic of “adult entertainment” or “escorts” to line up clients. Arrangements were made for the men seeking girls for hire to meet at a Lima motel or sometimes a motel in Fort Wayne, according to court records. An undercover police officer on the task force posed as a man seeking sex for hire and was able to set up the bust.
Five other defendants involved in the sex trafficking ring have already been sentenced:
• Randy Thompson, 26, received a 24-year sentence.
• Megan Hitt, 29, of Lima, was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison.
• Shemeric Cook, 30, received a 12-year prison sentence.
• Precious Russell, 20, received a nine-year prison sentence.
• Jacqueline Young, 54, was sentenced to four years in prison for obstructing the investigation.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.