Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

GREENVILLE – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced TONY OBRIEN WILLIAMS, 29, of Cary, was sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard to 84 months imprisonment followed by 10 years of supervised release.

On November 9, 2015, WILLIAMS pleaded guilty to Interstate Transportation for Prostitution and Use of the Internet to Promote Prostitution. According to the investigation, in January 2013, following the receipt of information that individuals in the Cary, North Carolina, area

were utilizing ads in the escort section on (Backpage) to promote prostitution, the Cary Police Department (CPD) began conducting undercover operations in an effort to identify the individuals responsible. The investigation determined that from at least February 2012 to January 2015, WILLIAMS ran a prostitution operation from various hotels in North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. During this time frame, WILLIAMS recruited and employed several women whose prostitution services were advertised on Backpage. WILLIAMS used verbal threats, violence, and narcotics to maintain control over the women working for him and to force them to continue in prostitution. To limit their contact with family and friends and other external influences, WILLIAMS took away their identification cards and cell phones.

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