Federal jury finds Pasco County man, whose victims included children and foreign nationals, guilty of human trafficking charges | USAO-MDFL

Tampa, Fla. — U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found David Alan Quarles (51, Odessa) guilty of conspiracy; sex trafficking by force, threats, fraud and coercion; importation of a foreigner for the purpose of prostitution; transportation of an individual in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution; and the use of an interstate commerce facility for the benefit of prostitution. Quarles faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 24, 2023. Quarles was charged on January 13, 2021.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, for decades Quarles recruited, lured, harbored, transported, supplied, obtained, advertised and nurtured young women and forced them to have sex with men in exchange for silver. Quarles used physical abuse, threats of violence, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse to coerce and coerce victims into engaging in commercial sex across the United States and throughout the Central District of Florida. Evidence revealed that Quarles frequented strip clubs and bikini bars to target and recruit vulnerable young women who were in dire financial straits. Many victims had no stable home and had recently left the foster care system. Quarles promised the victims that he would provide everything they wanted – financial security, love and affection, and a family. Quarles and his conspirators ordered the victims to engage in prostitution, published advertisements featuring these victims, and arranged for the victims to travel across the United States for work. In addition to recruiting and obtaining women from the United States, Quarles also imported non-American citizens into the country for the purposes of prostitution.

Quarles demanded that his victims send him the money they earned or seek his permission to spend funds on necessities. The evidence showed that while Quarles had no legitimate source of income, he benefited financially from the victims. He used their income to rent big houses, buy luxury clothes and buy high-end cars, including a Range Rover and a Porsche Panamera. At trial, Quarles testified that he had worked as a “pimp” since at least 1994, but denied needing to force or coerce victims into engaging in commercial sex.

Following his conviction, the United States confiscates several electronic devices that facilitated these offenses.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the US Coast Guard Investigative Service. He is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell and former Assistant United States Attorney Colin McDonell. United States Assistant Suzanne Nebesky handles the confiscation.

This case results from the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to collaborate with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to detect, investigate, and prosecute coercive human trafficking in the Tampa area. This includes child trafficking, forced labor, transnational sex trafficking, and adult sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. Information about the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking is available at www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.

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