TOLEDO, OH (Press Release) - A Toledo man has been sentenced to more than 18 years in prison for sex trafficking involving a minor.
Taurus Devault, 27, was sentenced to 224 months in prison by U.S. District Judge James Carr. Devault pleaded guilty last year to one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiring to use a facility of interstate commerce (i.e. the Internet or telephones) to promote a business enterprise involving prostitution.
Co-conspirator Duane Hill, 26, also from Toledo, was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison earlier this year.
"These defendants made their profits using underage girls," said US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven Dettelbach. "We will continue to work with our partners to prosecute human trafficking cases in all their many forms."
"Protecting our nation's children is one of the highest priorities in the FBI," said Stephen Anthony, special agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland Office. "No one should be able to pick up a phone or go online to purchase a child. People who traffic children for their own financial gain deserve - and are getting - the highest possible sentences the court can hand down. "
Devault and Hill conspired together in 2012 to offer underage girls for sale on the website BackPage.com to engage in commercial sex acts, according to court documents.
The investigating agency in this case is the Northwest Ohio Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force which consists of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Toledo, Ohio, Toledo Police Department, Perrysburg Township Police Department, Lima Police Department, Oregon Police Department, Fulton County Sheriff's Office, Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Hurley.