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FEDS: Erie County man faces life in prison for sex trafficking

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CHEEKTOWAGA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX TRAFFICKING

From the US Attorney Trini E. Ross,

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that James Fox, 41, of Cheektowaga, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. to sex trafficking by coercion, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas T. Cooper and Aaron J. Mango, who are handling the case, stated that between January 2019, and May 2020, Fox coerced an individual identified as T.P. to engage in commercial sex acts for him, providing T.P., who was addicted to heroin, with heroin and crack cocaine in exchange for sex. On the verge of physical withdrawal sickness, Fox supplied T.P. with small amounts of heroin to keep T.P. dependent and to coerce T.P. to engage in commercial sex acts, which included the use of physical restraints. On one occasion, T.P. suffered a heroin overdose. Fox administered four doses of Narcan and T.P. ultimately regained consciousness.

In addition, between 2018 and 2021, Fox coerced five other individuals to engage in commercial sex acts for him. Fox provided these victims, who were also addicted to heroin, with heroin and crack cocaine in exchange for sex. Similarly to T.P., these victims would be on the verge of physical withdrawal sickness, and Fox would supply them with a small mount to keep them dependent and to coerce them to engage in commercial sex acts, which included the use of physical restraints.

The plea is a result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Scarpino, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia, the Lancaster Police Department, under the direction of Chief William Karn. Jr. and Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief Brian Coons.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 15, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Sinatra.  

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