Kansas City man sentenced to 18 years for sex trafficking multiple victims
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A Kansas City man was sentenced in federal court on Tuesday for his role in a sex trafficking conspiracy involving four victims, Homeland Security Investigations said.
Cory Lavell Smith, 28, was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison without the possibility of parole. U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs also sentenced Smith to 20 years of supervised release after his incarceration.
In January 2019, a girl was arrested in Blue Springs, Missouri, after a crash involving a stolen vehicle. The 14-year-old was taken to a children’s hospital, where she told staff that she was being forced to have sex for money.
After she disappeared from the hospital, HSI Kansas City agents were notified of the allegations.
HSI did not say how she went missing.
The hospital handed her personal belongings over to federal agents. Detectives traced the 14-year-old’s phone to a home in Jackson, Mississippi, where they found a second, 16-year-old, victim.
The second victim helped detectives find the girl at an apartment in Kansas City.
Agents set up surveillance at the apartment building and soon saw the girl leave in a vehicle with Smith.
After a brief chase, agents stopped the vehicle and arrested Smith.
In protective custody, the girl told agents that Smith, also known as “Fatz,” groomed and blackmailed her into the commercial sex trade.
Both girls say they were abused and forced to use drugs to keep them compliant.
On March 25, Smith pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking and one count of sex trafficking.
He also admitted to participating in a sex trafficking conspiracy from August 2018 to January 2019. During that time, he forced four victims to engage in prostitution.
Co-defendant Kenyashae Monae Roach, 29, pleaded guilty on March 11, to transportation for illegal sexual activity and awaits sentencing.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine A. Connelly. It was investigated by HSI and the Lenexa, Kansas, and Kansas City Police Departments.