Four men from the greater Boston area have been arrested and charged for attempting to pay for sex with 12- and 14-year-old girls. If convicted, the defendants face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 or 15 years in prison.
Sadeq Ali Quraishi, 45, of Boston; Dmitri McKenzie, 27, of Boston; and David Cannon, 59, of Lexington were each arrested and charged by criminal complaint with Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Child. Misael Fabian Medina, 37, was also arrested and charged with Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Child under 14 years old. Quraishi, McKenzie, and Cannon appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Paul Levenson and were each held pending detention hearings scheduled for Nov. 8, 2022. Medina appeared before Magistrate Paul Levenson on Nov. 4, 2022 and agreed to voluntary detention and waived a probable cause hearing.
According to the charging documents, Quraishi, McKenzie, Cannon and Medina each responded to an advertisement on a website commonly used to advertise commercial sex acts. Each defendant communicated via text message with an individual who purported to be selling 12- and 14-year-old girls for commercial sex. Each defendant allegedly agreed to purchase sex with one or both of the advertised children and then traveled to a local hotel to have sex with the fictitious victims. It is alleged that, upon arrival at the hotel, each defendant physically met up with the individual purporting to sell the 12- and 14-year-old girls for sex and again allegedly committed to paying to sexually abuse one or both of the children.
“These arrests show that the sex trafficking of children is happening every day. There is a huge demand for this abusive, repugnant and criminal behavior. We need to dispel the myths about who actually commits this horrific crime. The perpetrators can be white collar professionals who live in nice suburban neighborhoods. Many are married. All put their own sexual gratification over the trauma and harm inflicted on vulnerable, innocent child victims,” said United States Attorney Rachael S Rollins. “We are dedicating substantial resources in the fight against labor and sex trafficking. That includes reducing the demand driving this horrific conduct. These four defendants are the first of many more to come. Consider yourself warned.”
“Knowing people are out there on the internet, looking to prey on children is every parent’s worst fear, but trafficking of children is a heartbreaking reality that Homeland Security Investigations fights against every day. This operation, with the vital assistance of our partners, has identified and led to the arrest of four men alleged to be willing to participate in that horrific crime. Human trafficking is a crime that is notoriously difficult to combat and progress is only possible with the collaboration and support of our many partners and survivor support services. We are grateful to be part of this united effort and to continue the fight to end trafficking,” said Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England.
Members of the public who have questions, concerns, or information about this case should contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 617-748-3274.
The charge of Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Child is punishable by up to life in prison and carries a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for offenses involving children 14 and older, and a 15-year mandatory minimum for Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Child under 14 years old. The charges also carry a maximum of at least a five-year term of supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
U.S. Attorney Rollins and HSI SAC Millhollin made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Lexington, Waltham, Barnstable, Quincy and Cambridge Police Departments as well as the Massachusetts State Police and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian A. Fogerty, Torey Cummings, Elizabeth Riley of Rollins’ newly established Human Trafficking and Civil Rights Unit and Timothy Moran, Chief of Rollins’ Organized Crime and Gang Unit are prosecuting the cases.