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Niagara Falls man pleads guilty to sex trafficking charge involving 17-year-old victim

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Marcellus Overton, 43, of Niagara Falls, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Fabian, who is handling the case, stated that in December 2012, the defendant met Victim 1 in Olean, NY, through a friend of Victim 1. Overton transported Victim 1, who was 17 years old, and a friend to Niagara Falls. Between late December 2012 and March 2013, the defendant conspired to have advertisements posted online at Backpage.com soliciting prostitution appointments for Victim 1. Overton transported or arranged for the transportation of Victim 1 to prostitution appointments scheduled as a result of the Backpage.com advertisements. The defendant also rented or arranged for the rental of hotel rooms at which Victim 1’s prostitution appointments took place. Overton received a share of Victim 1’s earnings from the prostitution appointments.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in- Charge Kevin Kelly, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 20, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.