ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A St. Paul man and woman pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to a multi-state sex trafficking ring in exchange for testimony against three more defendants, according to a statement from the Ramsey County Attorney’s office.
Attorney’s say Thomas William Evans, 25, pleaded guilty in court to selling five different victims, aged 16 to 24, as part of a sex trafficking ring. Doris Marie Keller, 38, pleaded guilty last month to first degree sex trafficking charges.
Evans will serve 20 years in prison and Keller will serve 78 months as part of a plea deal, although official sentencing won’t take place for either of them until late August.
Evans and Keller have both agreed to testify against three other defendants facing charges in the sex trafficking operation — Suwan Dominique Cross, 20, Yolanda Katrice Foster, 28, and Ishmel Jamaine Williams, 21.
According to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, authorities first apprehended the defendants during a rescue operation for a 17-year-old girl, for whom police discovered advertisements online. St. Paul Police organized a sting operations at a residence on Cook Street, where they found all five defendants, disposable cell phones, and Visa Vanilla gift cards used to purchase ads for the girls online.
All of the initially defendants denied any knowledge of the sex trafficking operation, which Ramsey County Attorney John Choi says involved nearly 100 girls across 14 states.
According to criminal complaints, one of the victims was forced to have sex with about seven men a day, with all profits — $400 to $500 daily — allegedly going to Evans.
Court proceedings for the remaining three defendants are set to continue later this month.