SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL) – A Shreveport man has been sentenced for sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl from Texas.
On Thursday 40-year-old Tyrone Larry Smith was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison by Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. Smith pleaded guilty on March 7, 2019.
Smith began communicating with the teen 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 the teenage girl 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 the teenager 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.
During an undercover online investigation, authorities made contact with the teen 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.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Those concerned may also leave tips with the FBI at tips.fbi.gov. The Shreveport FBI office number is (318) 861-1890.