Sheena Dume, 23, formerly of Greenwich, was sentenced on Tuesday in New Haven to 72 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for sex trafficking of minors.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Dume assisted a sex trafficking enterprise headed by Wellington Brown, also known as “Jamal.”
As part of the sex trafficking enterprise, Brown and Dume used various manipulative tactics to recruit five different minor victims to engage in prostitution. Brown drove expensive vehicles and displayed jewelry and cash to his victims, and lured them with the prospect of making significant amounts of money. Brown recruited some victims with the fictitious prospect of a modeling career.
Brown took pictures of the minor victims and used them to advertise prostitution services on websites such as backpage.com. Brown and Dume covered the expenses of the prostitution operation, such as renting hotel rooms, providing transportation and condoms, and buying food for the victims. At times, Brown also provided marijuana to the minor victims.
The investigation revealed that the victims engaged in prostitution at various hotels in Stratford and Milford. The victims provided Brown with tens of thousands of dollars they earned through prostitution and received only a small portion of the money they made.
Brown and Dume were arrested in Maryland on July 30, 2014. On February 18, 2015, Dume pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, and five counts of sex trafficking of a minor. She has been detained since her arrest.
On March 26, 2015, Brown pleaded guilty to the same six offenses. On February 11, 2016, he was sentenced to 126 months of imprisonment.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, aided by the Milford Police Department, the Stratford Police Department and the Connecticut State Police. U.S. Attorney Daly also recognized the significant assistance provided by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, particularly its Human Anti-Trafficking Response Team (“HART”).
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Novick and Marc Silverman.
U.S. Attorney Daly encouraged trafficking victims, and anyone who comes in contact with potential victims of trafficking, to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 888-373-7888.
The hotline is run by the Polaris Project under a federal grant. Hotline operators are trained to identify potential trafficking situations, and will immediately refer tips to law enforcement. Individuals also can send an email to NHTRC@traffickingresourcecenter.org.
Trafficking victims also are encouraged to send a text message to “BEFREE” to receive an immediate response and help from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.