CHEYENNE - A man was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges in Cheyenne.
Keith Anthony Crawford was arrested July 25 after Cheyenne Police investigated him on suspicion of sex trafficking. Crawford's case is making its was through U.S. District court. He most recently waived his preliminary examination and is currently in the custody of the U.S. Attorney General.
He is being charged with transportation in interstate commerce for purpose of prostitution.
He was discovered when officers were conducting an undercover investigation into prostitution in the Cheyenne area.
According to court documents:
On July 18, officers began monitoring online prostitution advertisements to identify sex traffickers and trafficking victims. They were monitoring prostitution ads because sex trafficking is often concealed as prostitution.
One of the officers answered an advertisement on cityxguide.com, a website known to be used for prostitution, reading "... This southern queen is here to play, specials."
The advertisement was accompanied by a photo of a female with "sweet desire" and a phone number running across the photo.
Officers contacted the number and requested a "QV," a quick visit, which is known in the prostitution industry as visit of 30 minutes or less usually for oral sex. The victim who answered the message agreed to a QV for 100 roses, the term used for money in the industry.
Officers arrived at the Red Lion Hotel and found the victim, who appeared to be the woman in the advertisement, naked in the hotel room. She was born in 1998, according to court documents.
She was allowed to get dressed and officers searched the room. When officers questioned her, she admitted she was in Cheyenne for prostitution and was from Texas.
Hotel staff said the room reservation showed a Nissan Altima was registered to the room. It's through this link that officers were able to connect Crawford to the crime.
The car had temporary Texas registration tags and didn't come back to the hotel until later that afternoon. Pimps usually leave the area while the victim meets with sex customers, according to court documents.
When Crawford returned to the scene, police found $1,106 and several of the victim's belongings in the car. He said he wasn't staying at the hotel and didn't know anyone staying at the hotel.
Police then searched Crawford's phone and they found web history indicating Crawford booked the Red Lion Hotel room and several text messages between him and the victim.
The messages indicated Crawford knew the victim was committing prostitution. The victim would text Crawford messages such as "he sending money" and "he wanna do 200 for 45min." Crawford would respond to these messages with "he sent 291...but dats cool" and "more money."
On his phone, police also found the photos used of the victim in the online prostitution ad.
Police were also able to find phone conversations Crawford had with an unidentified male where he said "she do what she do bro, I ain't got nothing to do with that" and then the caller asked "OK what's the b---- name Keith," and Crawford replied with the victim's name and date of birth.
The caller also told Crawford that there were prostitution stings in Cheyenne every year and Crawford replied "s--- how do I know that s--- like you know what I'm saying." The caller then asked Crawford where he was staying, and Crawford said "uhh Red, uhh I wasn't in my room, I was sittin in my car.”
Crawford is currently being held in custody, and if convicted, he is facing up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.