The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Stafford case led to interstate sex-trafficking ring’s pimp
An interstate pimp who was arrested in Stafford County last year was sentenced to 24½ years in prison Friday in federal court.
Taleek Sherrod Swinney, 26, of Jamaica Queens, N.Y., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He had pleaded guilty to sex trafficking in November.
Federal prosecutor Dana Boente said that Swinney, known as “Kash da Pimp,” was “one of the most violent sex traffickers” to ever operate in Virginia.
Federal authorities credited the Stafford Sheriff’s Office with playing a key role in breaking up the prostitution ring after arresting one of his prostitutes at a motel on Warrenton Road last year.
Court records state that Swinney used and abused numerous women and girls in his sex-trafficking operation.
He began operating in New York but later expanded to multiple East Coast states from Connecticut to Florida.
Court records state that Swinney beat one of his prostitutes almost daily.
On one occasion, he used a metal rod to beat her before stopping to film her naked and bleeding. He then continued beating her; the woman ended up with a fractured jaw and a broken nose.
Authorities said Swinney often beat his victims in front of other women as a way to instill fear in them. His violence included cutting one woman’s face and ear with a box cutter, forcing a woman to get an abortion and throwing one woman out of a moving vehicle when she refused to get out and seek customers.
The women he prostituted were required to give him all of the money they earned. Those who failed to meet a quota were not allowed to eat, court records state.
Swinney utilized a certain website to advertise the women and obtain customers.
Stafford 1st Sgt. Robbie Grella set up a sting in late January of last year after spotting an ad on the website featuring a young woman in skimpy clothing.
The ad stated, “Come for a magical experience, let me be your Fairy tale princess. My name is Heather.”
Grella called the number provided in the ad and the woman told him to meet her at the Howard Johnson Inn on Warrenton Road.
According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Stafford Circuit Court, the woman didn’t specify what services would be provided, but told Grella the price was $125 for 30 minutes or $200 for an hour.
Grella, wearing a body microphone, went to the room and other officers rushed in after hearing him say, “Whoa, whoa, what are you doing?”
The 18-year-old Chicago woman admitted being a prostitute and gave police information leading to Swinney.
Most of the Stafford charges against Swinney were later dropped and the case was taken over by federal authorities.
Court records said Swinney had been prostituting women since at least 2006.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404