A drug dealer who used his drug supply to coerce women into prostitution was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.
He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Devon Jay Caldwell, 26, of Norfolk, pleaded guilty on January 17 to his involvement in a conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion. According to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Caldwell convinced several women with serious drug problems to work for him as prostitutes by promising them an unlimited supply of drugs in exchange for the money they earned from commercial sex acts.
Caldwell arranged their prostitution appointments and set quotas for how much money certain of his prostitutes were required to earn. Caldwell provided the women with drugs in advance of their appointments, and at the conclusion of each act as a reward. If a woman did not want to perform commercial sex acts, Caldwell would withhold drugs from her causing, in some cases, significant physical withdrawal symptoms.
Caldwell recruited three co-conspirators – including a 16-year-old boy – to help him run his business, set up appointments, and dole out or withhold drugs at his direction. Caldwell ran this business for a full year before Virginia Beach Police arrested him in August 2016.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Norfolk; and James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorney V. Kathleen Dougherty prosecuted the case.
This case was investigated by the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and the police departments and commonwealth’s attorneys of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Hampton and Newport News. Samaritan House, a Virginia Beach-based nonprofit, is helping the victims.