Granville Robinson, 25, aka Bear and HB, Duane Phillips, 28, aka P-nut, and Anthony Ellis, 25, aka Anthony Deshun Lloyd, Animal and AD, were arrested today for offenses related to their involvement in sex trafficking adult victims to New Orleans as charged in a five-count indictment dated Dec. 20, 2013, and unsealed today by Chief Judge Sarah S. Vance of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Robinson, Phillips and Ellis are from Memphis, Tenn.

According to the indictment, from May 20, 2013, until Dec. 20, 2013, Robinson, Phillips and Ellis conspired to recruit, entice, harbor and transport several adult women by means of force, threats of force, fraud and coercion in order to engage in commercial sex acts in New Orleans and elsewhere. In addition to being charged with conspiring to commit sex trafficking, Robinson and Phillips are each charged with a substantive count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, and with transporting women in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution between May 20, 2013, and July 2, 2013.

If convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, Robinson, Phillips and Ellis each face a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Robinson and Phillips face a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release if convicted of transportation for the purpose of prostitution.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case was investigated by agents from the New Orleans Field Offices of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the Memphis Field Office of the FBI. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Special Litigation Counsel John Cotton Richmond and Trial Attorney Christine M. Siscaretti of the Civil Right Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia K. Evans of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

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