Two metro men plead guilty to human trafficking for prostitution - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Two metro men plead guilty to human trafficking for prostitution

Source: District Attorney's office Source: District Attorney's office
Source: District Attorney's office Source: District Attorney's office
RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Two metro men, Jason Ward and Devondra McFall, were arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison for human trafficking. 

A Ridgeland police officer was making a traffic stop early in the morning on March 31, 2016 when he got information about a possible prostitution ring at the Quality Inn.

Officers drove to the hotel and found two females, ages 17 and 33, in a hotel room.

The women told police they had been forced into prostitution and threatened and assaulted many times. They said the men holding them posted their pictures and information on backpage.com to schedule sexual-related meetings with men for money.

The females identified the two men responsible as "McFall" and another individual they knew only as “J”.

Officers found Devondra McFall at the hotel and arrested him when they found out that the two rooms with the women inside were bought under his name. 

The ringleader of the group, who had been identified only as “J”, was not at the hotel and had left minutes before police arrived. Investigators learned that “J” was a registered sex offender who was living at an apartment complex in Ridgeland.

Police identified him as Jason Ward and he was later arrested.

Both McFall and Ward were interviewed at the time of their arrest. Ward denied any involvement and denied knowing any of the individuals involved. McFall also initially denied being involved but later cooperated with law enforcement. He told officers that Ward was the ringleader of the organization.

McFall said that Ward would post information about the girls online and arrange meetings at local hotels. McFall would then rent the rooms and collect the money which he would turn over to Ward.

According to District Attorney Michael Guest, Ward and McFall pled guilty to Human Trafficking.

Ward was sentenced to serve 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the last five years of the sentence was suspended.

McFall was also sentenced to serve 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections but based on his cooperation the last fifteen years of his sentence was suspended. These sentences will be served, day for day, without the possibility of probation, parole, or early release.

Ward and McFall will be placed on five years of supervised probation following their release from custody.

Guest stated, “Human trafficking continues to be a growing problem and we must do everything we can to combat this growing problem where young women are being victimized. I want to thank the Ridgeland Police Department, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and the FBI for the outstanding job they did to bring these criminals to justice and in helping free two victims from the abuse they suffered.”

Guest added, “We cannot tolerate human trafficking and will continue to work with local, state and federal law enforcement to see that it does not make a home for itself in our community. We encourage anyone that has knowledge of human trafficking to please contact your local law enforcement. Your information may allow us to free other victims from abusers and reunite them with their family.”

Ward has been previously convicted in 2002 of aggravated sexual abuse in Illinois.

The Office of the District Attorney has suggested ways you can get involved in stopping human trafficking.

HOW TO STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING:

  • * Learn the indicators of human trafficking so you can help identify a potential trafficking victim.
  • * If you believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking, report your suspicions to law enforcement.
  • * Encourage your local school, churches or other organizations to educate their members and spread awareness on human trafficking.

Copyright 2017 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly