WASHINGTON D.C. (WVUE) - A man who pleaded guilty to operating a sex trafficking operation out of a New Orleans hotel is sentenced to 24 years in prison.
The Justice Department announced the sentencing of Granville Robinson, 27 of Memphis, Tennessee
294 months in prison for his role operating the sex trafficking scheme out of the Riviera Motel between 2012 and 2014.
A federal investigation detailed how Robinson used force and threats to compel more than ten women into prostitution in New Orleans and elsewhere.
Of the seven defendants in the case, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite described Robinson as the most violent.
"He regularly used physical abuse to coerce vulnerable victims – including a pregnant woman – into a life of prostitution for his benefit. Today's lengthy sentence was certainly warranted, and it reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that human traffickers like Robinson are held accountable for their criminal actions."
Robinson admitted to using force for punishment and control. In one instance he punched and kicked a pregnant woman in the abdomen to punish her for texting without his permission.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Sallet called Robinson "nothing short of a predator who took advantage of and abused vulnerable women."
Prosecutors say Robinson and his co-defendants operated out of certain hotels, including the Riviera, where they knew their activities would not be reported to police. In return, they paid above market rents.
in July of 2015, Hotel owner Kanubhai Patel pleaded guilty to benefiting from human trafficking. He and five other defendants have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.