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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

2 Luzerne men charged with child sex trafficking

SCRANTON, Pa. — Two Luzerne men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Scranton Tuesday for child sex trafficking and producing and distributing child pornography.

Gregory Boone, 29, and Randy Coleman Jr., 33, were arrested following a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Pittston Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police.

"Protecting our children is one of our greatest responsibilities," said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. "HSI will not tolerate the exploitation of our kids. Working alongside local law enforcement partners, like the Pittston and Pennsylvania State Police, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure their safety."

According to U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith, the indictment alleges Coleman and Boone conspired to use minor females to engage in prostitution during August and September 2013. They used cell phones to produce and transmit images of child pornography, and the images were used in escort services advertisements on a website.

The indictment also alleges Boone, Coleman and others recruited at least three minor females and attempted to recruit a fourth to engage in prostitution in Luzerne, Lackawanna and Dauphin counties. According to the indictment, the two took photographs of the minors and posted them on the website, rented motel rooms for customers to meet with the victims for sex and shared in the profits of the prostitution activities.

Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children, sex trafficking of children as aiders and abettors, conspiracy to produce child pornography, three counts of producing child pornography as aiders and abettors, conspiracy to transport and ship child pornography, and three counts of transporting and shipping child pornography as aiders and abettors.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

In this case, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment on the child pornography production charges, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a possible life imprisonment sentence on the sex trafficking of children offenses, and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment on the transporting child pornography charges.