FBI

The FBI participated in the investigation of sex trafficking in the Shreveport area.

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Tyrone Larry Smith, 40, of Shreveport was sentenced Thursday to serve 50 years in federal prison for sex trafficking a minor female from Texas.

Smith pleaded guilty on March 7.

United States Attorney David C. Joseph said in a statement that Smith began communicating with a 14-year-old female from Texas over an internet-based “dating service” in June 2015.

Using internet communications, he convinced her to travel to Shreveport, making representations that he wanted to start a relationship with her. She agreed and took a bus to Shreveport. When she encountered Smith, he informed her that she would be engaging in prostitution, and implied that there would be consequences if she did not cooperate.

Smith posted advertisements on the website Backpage.com using photographs of the victim in various stages of undress, with descriptions of her services, to advertise the victim’s prostitution. He listed his number on the page for customers to call, and he coached the victim on what prices to charge and how to question customers to ensure they were not undercover police officers. If she resisted, Smith used force and physical violence to force her into prostitution.

At one point, the victim told Smith she wanted to return home. In response, the defendant struck her in the face and told her that she would continue to engage in prostitution. Smith kept all of the money from the acts of prostitution.

Joseph said that during an undercover online investigation, authorities made contact with the victim via the internet and phone claiming to be a customer soliciting sex. They later arrived at a local hotel and arrested Smith.

The FBI and Shreveport Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Earl M. Campbell and Jessica D. Cassidy prosecuted the case.

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