TOLEDO — A Lima man sentenced last week to life in prison by a federal court judge on human trafficking charges reportedly will be re-sentenced today.
Aundre Davis, 35, was sentenced to life behind bars by Judge Jack Zuhary on six charges related to trying to prostitute a minor. But a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Toledo on Wednesday said the judge reportedly has had second thoughts and will issue a lesser sentence for Davis during a hearing set for today.
“We will object” to the lesser sentence, said Mike Tobias, public information officer for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio.
Davis was charged with sex trafficking of a minor and transporting a minor with the intent of prostitution. A co-defendant in the case, Lorenzo Young of Lima, will also be sentenced today by Zuhary.
The FBI says the investigation started in November 2015. They were looking at Davis and four other people 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” 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 for two counts of conspiracy to engage in the sex trafficking of a minor, one count of transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in prostitution, two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, and one count of obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation.
According to court documents and testimony, Thompson forced the 14-year-old girl to engage in commercial sex acts from his apartment on Lima’s Fourth Street and from a nearby gas station, and he caused the victim to go to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she engaged in prostitution.
Shemeric Cook, 30, received a 12-year prison sentence for obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation. Authorities said he lied to investigators and attempted to distance himself from the crimes while protecting others involved in the sex trafficking.
Precious Russell, 20, received a nine-year prison sentence for conspiracy to engage in the sex trafficking of a minor and one count of sex trafficking of a minor.
Another co-defendant, Megan Hitt, 29, of Lima, was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison for her role in the sex trafficking conspiracy, while Jacqueline Young, 54, was sentenced to four years in prison for obstructing the investigation.