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Human Smuggling/Trafficking
11/19/2015

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Rhode Island man pleads guilty to sex trafficking and heroin conspiracy

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Providence man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to multiple charges related to sex and drug trafficking.

This guilty plea resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Rhode Island State Police.

Damien Beverly, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, two counts of transportation to engage in prostitution and one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.

A second individual charged in this matter, Tariq Rosario, 28, of Boston, also pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.

According to court records, Beverly encountered one of his victims in downtown Boston. He brought the woman to a hotel room he rented in Warwick, Rhode Island. While there, he photographed her and persuaded her to post an advertisement on Backpage.com, with the intent that she engage in commercial sexual activity.

Over the next several days, several individuals responded to the advertisement. All of the money collected by the victim was turned over to Beverly, who in exchange provided the woman with heroin he obtained from Rosario.

In September 2014, Beverly met his second victim on the streets of Boston, while she was homeless and addicted to heroin and cocaine. He persuaded her to travel to Rhode Island, promising her that he would provide her with housing and drugs in exchange for working as a prostitute. The woman resided with Beverly in Providence, during which time they posted numerous advertisements on Backpage.com offering commercial sexual activity. Again, all of the money earned by the victim was turned over to Beverly in exchange for housing, food and a daily supply of heroin.

In late September or early October 2014, Beverly persuaded the first victim, who had since returned to Boston, to return to Rhode Island to live and work with the second victim. Beverly provided the victims with between 3-5 grams of heroin, daily, in exchange for the money.

HSI special agents and officers with the Rhode Island State Police executed a search warrant on Jan. 13, 2015 at Beverly’s Providence residence. Beverly was arrested and his victims were rescued and provided support services. Tariq Rosario was subsequently arrested Sept. 18, 2015.

Beverly and Rosario have been in federal custody since their respective arrests. Both are scheduled to be sentenced on February 5, 2016.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 11/23/2015