A Norfolk man was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison on human trafficking charges.
Devon Caldwell – who ordered prostitutes to call him “dad” – pleaded guilty in January in U.S. District Court.
According to court documents, he worked with at least three people between September 2015 and August 2016 to pimp women out of area hotels. One of his associates was identified in court documents as a 16-year-old boy, and another was a 19-year-old woman.
The documents said men paid to have sex with one of the women in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News and elsewhere.
Caldwell, 26, referred to the encounters as “plucks,” documents said, and required the prostitutes to have five a night.
He provided them food, clothing and drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin, documents said. He would often give them drugs before and after.
If a prostitute did not meet her quota in a night, Caldwell would withhold drugs from her, documents said.
He often carried a gun while they met with clients, documents said, and stood guard in an adjoining room.
This is the first case investigated under the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force, according to a spokeswoman for Homeland Security Investigations. Officials announced its formation in November after receiving a $1.4 million federal grant.
According to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release, the task force will identify, rescue and restore victims while building awareness about the realities of human trafficking.
Among the entities involved: 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.
This story originally appeared in The Virginian Pilot.