March 28 2018

Update: Man Arrested in 2015 Sting Sentenced to Prison for Human Trafficking

By: Rich Hosford

A man arrested in Burlington in 2015 during a police prostitution sting has been found guilty of human trafficking and sentenced.

 

District Attorney Marian Ryan announced on Tuesday that Shakwaan Simpkins, 26, of Brockton, was found guilty by a Middlesex Superior Court jury of trafficking of a person for sexual servitude in connection with a November 20, 2015 incident where the defendant tried to recruit an undercover Burlington Police Officer to work for him as a prostitute at a Burlington hotel. Judge Thomas Billings sentenced Simpkins to five years to five years and one day in state prison for the crime.

 

During that operation nine men were arrested and charged with Engaging in Sexual Conduct for a fee. Simpkins was also charged with Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude after he responded to the sting operation advertisement and called the undercover officer, arranging to meet and attempting to "recruit" her to work as a prostitute for him.

 

The defendant also told the officer he had another woman working for him as prostitute who was later located in a motor vehicle at the hotel. When the undercover Burlington officer agreed to work for him, Burlington Police placed the defendant under arrest. In the subsequent investigation, authorities learned the defendant was linked to multiple posts on a website that offers sexual services for a fee with several other women.

 

“The defendant used a website with the express purpose of recruiting a woman to engage in prostitution,” DA Ryan said. “This case highlights the importance of online vigilance by law enforcement officials as human trafficking cases are not always easy to identify and they may often present as incidents of prostitution or sexual assault.”

 

Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said he appreciated the officers and prosecutors who worked together to get to this point.

“I would like to thank the officers and prosecutors whose work resulted in today’s sentencing,” he said. “Human trafficking has no place in our community and is designed to exploit some of the most vulnerable individuals among us and the defendant will now have to answer for his offenses.”


 


 

 
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