Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging David Alan Quarles (49, Odessa) with conspiracy; sex trafficking by force, threats, fraud, or coercion; importation of an alien for the purpose of prostitution; transportation of an individual in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution; and using a facility of interstate commerce in aid of prostitution. If convicted on all counts, Quarles faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Quarles that the United States intends to forfeit assets alleged to have facilitated these offenses or that are traceable to proceeds of the offenses.
According to the indictment, Quarles and his conspirators recruited victims, some of whom were children or foreign nationals, to engage in prostitution. Quarles used violent, fraudulent, or otherwise coercive tactics—including physical violence, sexual assault, threats of violence, and misrepresenting the nature of their employment before the victims began working—to recruit victims or keep the victims engaged in prostitution. Quarles and his conspirators allegedly directed these victims to engage in prostitution, posted advertisements featuring these victims, and arranged for the victims to travel across the United States to work. Quarles required his victims to send him the money that they had earned or seek his permission to spend funds on necessities.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Colin McDonell.