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AKIPRESS.COM - Chief United States District Court Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida sentenced Jeffrey Jason Cooper, 47, of Miami Beach, Florida, to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and related violations, Miami Herald reported.
The defendant’s scheme involved recruiting foreign students on false promises of legitimate summer jobs, and then to advertise them to customers of his prostitution and erotic massage enterprise.
Chief Judge Moore also ordered Cooper to pay $8,640.00 in restitution to the victims.
A jury convicted Cooper on 11 counts of charges, including sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and wire fraud.
In May 2011, Cooper used the Department of State’s Summer Work Travel program as the main prop for luring two young women from Kazakhstan to Miami Beach. They thought they were coming to do clerical work in Dr. Janaranda Dasa’s Miami Beach yoga studio, six days a week, eight hours a day, $12 an hour. So did the government, which issued the appropriate visas, sponsored by a Chicago company.
That was mostly a lie — Miami Beach exists, “Dr. Janaranda Dasa” existed as a Cooper alias but the yoga studio didn’t exist at all. The only jobs that existed involved erotic massage.
Unable to find other work and feeling helpless, witnesses testified, the women did Cooper’s bidding.
According to the criminal complaint, Cooper advertised them on Backpage.com in an advertisement headlined “Beautiful Ladies from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Ukraine offering Sensual Body Rubs — 20” and sold them as “Work and travel students, visiting the South Florida area. Offering the very best in erotic full body massages. All gorgeous and very friendly. Their ages range from 18-22, completely drama free and very happy. Lovely Miami Beach waterfront location, plenty of parking. If truly interested in an amazing experience, don’t hesitate to phone.”
According to the Justice Department, complaints from Cooper’s neighbors suspicious about prostitution activities got police investigating. Police removed the young women from their predicament on Aug. 4, 2011, a day before Cooper planned to ship them to his Los Angeles home.
Still, despite interviewing Cooper in September 2015 and April 2016, Cooper remained free until Homeland Security learned Cooper planned to head for Spain on May 5, 2016. Homeland Security arrested him on May 3, 2016.
Judge K. Michael Moore sentenced Cooper to 235 years to run concurrently. It breaks down like this: 30 years on each of two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; 30 years on each of three counts of attempted sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; 20 years on each of three wire fraud counts; 10 years for importation of an alien for immoral purposes; 10 years for attempted importation of an alien for immoral purposes; five years for use of facility in interstate commerce to promote unlawful activity.
There’s also an $1,100 fine and $8,640 of restitution.