DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Kenneth Laray White, 26, of Dallas, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to serve a total of 326 months in federal prison on felony convictions stemming from a plan to recruit a developmentally disabled teenage girl to engage in commercial sex acts.
White pleaded guilty in March 2015 to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. White’s brother, Damion Kentrell White, 24, who was also charged, pleaded guilty to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise and one count of illegal receipt of a firearm by a person under indictment. Damion White is scheduled to for sentencing later this month.
A February 2016 trial date is currently set for the other defendant charged in the case, their cousin, Mecose Mendale Shorter, 31, also of Dallas, who is also alleged to have participated in the scheme to traffic the victim.
According to documents filed in the case, Kenneth and Damion White knew the victim since she was 15-years-old. When she was 18-years-old, they devised a plan to recruit her to engage in commercial sex acts for them by taking advantage of her diminished mental capacity. In late June 2013, Damion White established a friendship with the victim, and then, in early July of 2013, he used false pretenses to convince her to leave her home with him.
Later that night, Kenneth and Damion White drove the victim to a motel in Dallas where Damion White had rented a room. Kenneth White used his cell phone to take provocative photos of the victim that they later used in advertisements they posted on backpage.com. They deprived her of food and prevented her from leaving the room to encourage her to engage in commercial sex acts for them. Kenneth White had sex with the victim, and the victim eventually engaged in commercial sex acts and provided the money she earned to Kenneth White. Kenneth and Damion White used the Internet and a cell phone to coordinate the victim’s commercial sex acts with potential customers.
Later, Kenneth and Damion White moved the victim to another motel in Dallas where they continued to compel her to engage in commercial acts during the latter part of July 2013. Officers with the Dallas Police Department rescued the victim from this motel on July 22, 2013.
Kenneth and Damion White were arrested on federal sex trafficking charges on February 25, 2014. Kenneth White was found at his girlfriend’s apartment, and during a protective sweep of the apartment, agents located a Romar/Cugir 7.62 caliber rifle, along with three extended magazines under the mattress in the master bedroom. Damion White admitted that he had possessed firearms recently, including the firearm that Kenneth White was caught with that day. Damion White further admitted that he had been under indictment for a felony marijuana case for quite some time.
The North Texas Trafficking Taskforce, including the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Dallas Police Department, investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cara Foos Pierce is prosecuting the case.