A Dallas man who sex trafficked multiple young women was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
Demetrius Lewaun Byrd, 39, who called himself “Staxx Diego,” pleaded guilty in March 2022 to sex trafficking through force, fraud, and coercion. He was sentenced last Thursday by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay.
“HSI will spare no resource in ensuring that those who exploit children face justice for their egregious crimes,” said Lester R. Hayes Jr., Special Agent in Charge HSI Dallas. “We remain dedicated to protecting the children of our communities.”
According to plea papers, Mr. Byrd admitted that he trafficked one 17-year old girl and two 18-year old girls between 2016 and 2018.
Testimony at the hearing revealed that Mr. Byrd used social media platforms to recruit 17- and 18-year old girls to work with him in the commercial sex trade, often coercing them by pretending they would be his girlfriend. Mr. Byrd also used social media and text messages to shame and manipulate the women if they tried to leave him.
He told one victim that he wanted to date her, then drove up to Oklahoma and drove her back to Texas. During the trip, Mr. Byrd stopped the car at a hotel, handed her a room key, and told her to go into the room, take the money, and do whatever the man inside wanted. Shocked and terrified, the girl complied. Mr. Byrd kept the money.
For the next six months, Mr. Byrd posted commercial sex ads for the girl online, forced her into sex with customers, and pocketed the proceeds. When she told him she wanted to leave, he punched her in the face and pinned her against a fence. When she did manage to escape, he staged his own suicide to pressure her to return.
Homeland Security Investigations’ Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation.