Delaware man convicted in sex trafficking ring sentenced to 21 years in prison

"Anthony Jones and his coconspirators used the bodies of children for their own financial benefit," said US Attorney Williams.

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PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Delaware man has been sentenced to 21 years in prison for his role in a sex trafficking ring that targeted children and women in multiple states, the United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced Friday.

Anthony Jones, 38, of Wilmington, was also sentenced to 10 years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $15,160 in restitution to his victims.

"Anthony Jones and his coconspirators used the bodies of children for their own financial benefit," said Williams.

Jones was found guilty in April 2019 of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion and three counts of sex trafficking of minors by force, fraud, and coercion.

According to officials, Jones helped manage the sex trafficking enterprise of Dkyle Bridges.

"The multi-year sex trafficking conspiracy preyed on teenage girls and young women looking for a home and support. Once lured into the trafficking circle, the victims were compelled to engage in commercial sex acts in southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and elsewhere, for the co-defendants' financial benefit," the US Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Officials said Bridges would use violent and coercive tactics to force his victims to remain in the sex trafficking operation, "including pouring water on them to keep them awake, choking them, and assaulting them."

Bridges was earlier sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in the operation.

Anthony Jones' brother, Kristian Jones, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

"This sentence of 21 years (for Anthony Jones) and the decades-long sentences handed down to his codefendants reflect the seriousness with which the federal justice system will treat defendants convicted of sex trafficking offenses," Williams said. "We will continue to work collectively to investigate and prosecute these destructive crimes committed against some of the most vulnerable members of our community."

According to officials, the investigation began in November 2016, when a Tinicum Township police officer stopped a vehicle that had recently left a hotel known to be frequented by individuals engaged in prostitution.

The driver admitted to the officer that he had just met a prostitute at the hotel and had arranged the "date" through a website.

Officials said law enforcement went to the room that the driver had visited, and discovered Kristian Jones, two minor girls, condoms and cellphones containing communications with Bridges about the sex trafficking conspiracy.

Officials said the room had been rented by Anthony Jones.

The case was investigated by the FBI - Philadelphia with assistance from the Tinicum Township Police Department; Newark, Delaware Police Department; Delaware State Police; Delaware River Bay Authority; and Philadelphia Police Department.