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May 8, 2015Boston, MA, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

2 Boston women sentenced for roles in sex trafficking organization

BOSTON – Two Boston women were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Boston for transporting other women across state lines to engage in prostitution. The sentencing follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit and Homicide Unit, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

Vanessa Grandoit, 26, of Roxbury, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison and five years of supervised release.  Kairis Sanchez, aka “Lola,” of Dorchester and Portland, Maine, was sentenced on April 29, 2015, to 18 months in prison and five years of supervised release.  Both women pleaded guilty to one count each of transportation to engage in criminal sexual activity. 

Grandoit and Sanchez were both charged in indictments that named other individuals in a larger sex trafficking organization.  Specifically, co-defendants Raymond Jeffreys, aka “Skame Dollarz,” “Skame,” “Skamen,” “Define Dollarz,” and “Frenchy,” 27, of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Portland, Maine; and Corey Norris, aka “Case,” and “Jacorey Johnson,” 25, of Dorchester, were charged with the trafficking and transportation of nine victims, six of whom were under the age of 18, for the purposes of prostitution in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Nevada, Georgia, Florida, and California.  Grandoit and Sanchez provided logistical support to Jeffreys and Norris at various times, including by driving particular prostitutes across state lines. 

In addition to the sex trafficking charges, Jeffreys and another defendant, Jaquan Casanova a/k/a “Cass,” “Joffe,” “Joffy,” and “Joffy Joe,” 24, of Dorchester, were charged in a third superseding indictment with tampering with a federal witness by attempting to kill him and with conspiring with each other to do so.  The victim of the shooting is Darian Thomson, aka “Bo,” “Dee Bo,” himself a former co-defendant in the sex-trafficking operation.  According to the allegations in the third superseding indictment, in April 2013, Thomson was released from state custody on unrelated state charges in New Jersey and returned to Boston where he was shot in the head by Casanova at the direction of Jeffreys.  The third superseding indictment alleges that Jeffreys believed that Thomson had cooperated with law enforcement in New Jersey and directed the shooting of Thomson with the intent to kill him in order to prevent Thomson from providing information to federal law enforcement regarding his and Norris’ sex trafficking activities. 

"ICE investigates a wide array of crimes, but the trafficking of women and girls against their will for prostitution is among the most sinister," said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. "Few crimes so damage their victims and undermine basic human decency. HSI, along with our law enforcement partners in Massachusetts including Boston PD, will continue to aggressively investigate human trafficking to identify and rescue its innocent victims."  

The witness tampering charges were investigated jointly by HSI and the Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit and Homicide Unit.  The sex trafficking charges were investigated jointly by HSI, BPD, and the FBI.   

In fiscal year 2014, HSI identified more than 440 victims of human trafficking and arrested 1,770 perpetrators of this crime.

HSI is a leading agency in the fight against human trafficking and routinely works with federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations, to identify and prosecute human traffickers and rescue their victims.

The agency’s victim assistance program ensures victims receive services and access to resources in accordance with U.S. law.

Human trafficking victims are essentially modern-day slaves. They can be of any age, race, nationality or gender, although most sex trafficking victims are women. Victims of human trafficking are forced into prostitution, labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts. Vulnerable populations include at-risk youth, runaways and undocumented immigrants who may have been smuggled into the United States to an unfamiliar culture and fear law enforcement.

Human trafficking investigations often result from a tip from the general public. HSI encourages the public to report suspicious activity by calling its toll-free number: 1-866-347-2423. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Tips can also be submitted online at www.ICE.gov/tips.

Updated: 06/08/2015