Soloman Manasseh Mustafa was sentenced to life in prison today for operating a sex trafficking ring.
Kalandra Annette Wallace of Jonesboro, Mustafa's co-defendant, pleaded guilty on last October and was sentenced to five years in federal prison.
Many metro area law enforcement agencies, including the Holly Springs Police Department, assisted in the investigation.
Authorities say Mustafa, 38, used violence against women to keep them from escaping, including binding them with duct tape and taking their identification. Mustafa is from an unspecified area in Stone Mountain.
“This defendant brutally assaulted young women and forced them into acts of prostitution in three states," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, in a statement on the sentencing. "Many of the victims were beaten, raped, handcuffed and forced to snort cocaine by the defendant and his co-conspirator. Today’s sentence demonstrates that sex traffickers will pay a heavy price for victimizing young women.”
U.S. District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. handed down Mustafa's sentence.
The release says that, according to the indictment and evidence, Mustafa and Wallace use Internet advertising to recruit young women and then luring them into prostitution. The two then assaulted the many of the women, keeping them from leaving hotels or apartments, the release states.
A federal jury convicted Mustafa in July for operating the sex trafficking ring in metro Atlanta, a decision reached after an eight-day jury trial.
Mustafa was found guilty of sex trafficking, kidnapping, transporting women across state lines for prostitution, document servitude, and enticement of a minor for sexual activity.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, there was evidence that Mustafa text- messaged a girl, believing she was 14, and told her to send him photos of herself.
After seeing the photos, he told her that she could be his sex slave and he went to her home to pick her up, the news release states. The girl tied bed sheets together and climbed out the window but Mustafa let her go in a subdivision near her home, the U.S. Attorney's office said.