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Description: Milwaukee, Wisconsin criminal law lawyer represented Defendant charged with four felony crimes: sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; interstate transportation for prostitution; sex trafficking of a child and by force, fraud, or coercion; and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Jovante L. Champion, age 31, from Milwaukee, was a member of a Milwaukee gang known as “Everything Business,” an offshoot of a violent Chicago-based street gang known as the Black P. Stone Nation. Champion used his position within the gang and false promises of love and financial security to recruit two victims, one when she was 20, and the other after she had just turned 16. Thereafter, Champion used physical force, complex layers of coercion, his possession of a firearm, and the backing of his gang to sell his victims for commercial sex in Illinois, Tennessee, and Texas. Numerous exhibits introduced at trial included Champion’s own words detailing his trafficking crimes. These exhibits included, among other things, text messages and Facebook posts and messages.
At sentencing, United States District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller emphasized the enduring impact of the trauma Champion’s victims experienced, both at the time of the trafficking in 2019, as well as when the victims re-lived those events during trial. Judge Stadtmueller described sex trafficking as a “horrible, pernicious activit[y],” often committed against the most vulnerable in our community, particularly minors. He also commended the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the local agencies in Wisconsin and Texas, that worked collaboratively to hold Champion accountable.
“The evidence in this case – including his own messages and social media posts – demonstrated that Mr. Champion had no problem abusing and dehumanizing others for his own financial benefit,” stated U.S. Attorney Haanstad. “This office is committed to working with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners to support and seek justice for trafficking victims like those upon whom this defendant preyed.”
“Human trafficking is a devastating crime which physically and mentally scars victims for life,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael E. Hensle. “Through the outstanding collaboration of our local, state, and federal partnerships, we will continue to seek justice for all victims and ensure the perpetrators of these crimes face the full consequences of their actions.”
“Human trafficking is a horrific crime, and, with this sentence, the defendant will spend a long time behind bars,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Thank you to the outstanding agents and analysts in Wisconsin DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation who worked on this investigation and helped bring the defendant to justice.”
hThe FBI and the Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) investigated the case with the assistance of the Dallas Police Department and the San Antonio Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Erica J. Lounsberry and Katherine M. Halopka-Ivery prosecuted the case.
18:1591(a)(1) and 1591(b)(1) - SEX TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN OR BY FORCE, FRAUD OR COERCION
18:2421(a) - TRANSPORTING FOR PROSTITUTION
18:1591(a)(1), (b)(1), (b)(2) and (c) - SEX TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN OR BY FORCE, FRAUD OR COERCION
18:2423(a) - TRANSPORT MINOR W/INTENT FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL ACTIVITIY
Outcome: IMPRISONMENT: Two Hundred and Forty (240) months as to Counts 1 and 3, One Hundred and Twenty (120) months as to Count 2, Two Hundred and Forty (240) months as to Count 4, all to operate to run concurrently with one another for a total term of imprisonment of Two Hundred and Forty (24) months; SUPERVISED RELEASE: Five (5) years as to Counts 1, 3, and 4, and Three (3) years as to Count 2, to operate to run concurrently with one another for a total term of supervised release of Five (5) years; FINE: Waived; RESTITUTION: $7,860.00; SPECIAL ASSESSMENT: $100.00 special assessment as to each of Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, for a total special assessment of $400.00.