PLANO, Texas – A Dallas man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for sex trafficking of children in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
Laderrick Dedemon Smith, also known as “Freeway,” 22, pleaded guilty on August 24, 2021, to sex trafficking of children and was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan on May 26, 2022.
According to information presented in court, in April 2020, HSI and the Arlington Police Department, with the assistance of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, rescued a minor victim who had been sex trafficked by Smith, including during the COVID pandemic lockdown. Through investigation, officers learned that Smith had trafficked the minor victim, and others, out of a hotel room in Plano, within the Eastern District of Texas. Smith placed ads on sites with photographs of the minor victims and offered them for sex. Smith communicated with prospective buyers, set rates, and arranged for the commercial sex acts. Smith also installed a tracking device on the minor victim’s cell phone so that the minor could not leave the hotel, obtain food, or seek medical treatment without his knowledge. In sentencing Smith, the district court found that Smith kept the minor victim in his custody, care, and supervisory control, and that Smith unduly influenced the minor victim to engage in commercial sex through fear of bodily injury. The Court ultimately sentenced Smith to a total term of imprisonment of 20 years, to be followed by a term of supervised release of 15 years, during which time Smith will be required to register as a sex offender.
“Protecting children from predators like Smith is one of our top priorities,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “I’m proud of the work our partners at the North Texas Trafficking Task Force do hunting for those who prey on children. He who harms a child will suffer the wrath of law enforcement and will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Child sex trafficking is one of the most deviant crimes we investigate in our agency,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Christopher Miller, HSI Dallas. “The work of our law enforcement partners of the North Trafficking Task Force has proven to be invaluable in removing these dangerous predators from our communities, while at the same time providing much needed assistance to those victimized by their perpetrators.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations-led North Texas Trafficking Task Force and the Arlington Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller.