For Immediate Release
Friday, June 7, 2019
, United States Attorney
Maria Chapa Lopez
Contact: William Daniels
Jacksonville Pimp and Heroin Dealer Pleads Guilty to Three Counts of Forcible Sex Trafficking
Tampa Field Division
Jacksonville, Florida – Richard Anthony Moffett, a/k/a “Mook” (31, Jacksonville) today pleaded guilty to three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion. Moffett faces a minimum sentence of 15 years, up to life, in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
During the change of plea hearing, Moffett admitted that, in the middle of 2016, he relocated to Jacksonville from Ohio and began residing in various Jacksonville hotels. Sometime in December 2016, Moffett began selling heroin to D.D., one of his victims. D.D. began working for Moffett, providing commercial sex to others, and gave all of the money she made to Moffett. Moffett exploited D.D.’s heroin addiction to coerce her into engaging in commercial sex acts. This continued until around February 2017.
Sometime in February 2017, Moffett began selling heroin to a second victim (S.B.). Moffett invited S.B. and another woman to travel with him to Akron, Ohio, for the stated purpose of meeting Moffett’s two newborn daughters. S.B. and the other woman, who were heroin addicts, agreed to go with Moffett. Once they reached Akron, Moffett obtained hotel rooms and then informed the women that they would need to begin engaging in commercial sex in order to make enough money to travel back to Florida. Both S.B. and the other woman were posted on Backpage.com, and both engaged in commercial sex “dates” while in Ohio. After a few weeks, Moffett transported S.B. and the other woman back to Jacksonville, where he continued to advertise S.B. for commercial sex, taking all of the proceeds, and beating her as punishment for behavior that he did not like. On one occasion, S.B. told Moffett she wanted to leave, and Moffett prepared a bill for all of S.B.’s purported expenses, totaling approximately $3,000.
In mid-April, another victim, S.A., who had been purchasing heroin from Moffett, became homeless and asked Moffett for help. Moffett offered S.A. a place to stay, and the next day, informed S.A. that she would need to begin paying her way. S.A. was posted on Backpage.com, and when a commercial sex “date” was arranged, Moffett provided S.A. with a set of rules on handling money from the “John” and the detection of law enforcement. S.A. engaged in multiple commercial sex dates while under Moffett’s control.
In April 2017, S.A. and another woman were arrested for prostitution by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO). Moffett approached S.A. as she was being arrested, and told a JSO detective that he was not her pimp, but was just “guiding” her. Moffett was waiting outside the jail for S.A. the next day when she was released. In May 2017, S.A. was arrested a second time by JSO, and told an undercover detective that Moffett would come looking for her. During this time, S.B. was able to escape from Moffett.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the State Attorney’s Office for Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor and Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin Wolfson.