For Immediate Release
Monday, October 24, 2016
, United States Attorney
A. Lee Bentley, III
Contact: William Daniels
Jacksonville Woman Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking by Force, Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine, and a Firearm Offense
Tampa Field Division
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Shaquana Quenella Brookins (31, Jacksonville) today pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; conspiracy to manufacture and distribute cocaine base; and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. She faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, up to life, in federal prison.
According to the plea agreement, from the summer of 2013 through late 2015, Brookins was trafficking illegal drugs, including crack cocaine, heroin, and flakka, in Jacksonville and routinely carried firearms for intimidation purposes. She also engaged in commercial sex trafficking.
Around March 2014, Brookins met a woman with the initials D.C., who began working for Brookins in the commercial sex industry. D.C. was addicted to crack cocaine, and Brookins controlled D.C. by exploiting her addiction. Brookins repeatedly beat D.C. in order to cause her to engage in commercial sex and to punish her if she stole drugs or withheld money. On several occasions, D.C. attempted to escape from Brookins, but was forced by Brookins to return.
Brookins’s criminal enterprise included a driver who would take D.C. and others to commercial sex “dates” in exchange for crack cocaine. Brookins also used crack cocaine to compensate an attorney who represented D.C. and another sex trafficking victim in various criminal cases brought against the victims. Additionally, Brookins obtained a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver from the attorney, which she paid for with crack cocaine. Brookins was previously convicted of four felonies, and therefore was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
Brookins and several co-conspirators distributed at least 200 grams of crack cocaine as part of their conspiracy during this time.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor.