A federal jury convicted a 39-year-old Florida man of two counts of Sex Trafficking of a Minor Under the Age of 14.
The guilty verdict, returned yesterday, at the conclusion of a three-day trial, was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Tyron Columbia Watson, 39, of Tallahassee, Florida, faces a mandatory minimum term of fifteen years imprisonment to Life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a maximum term of life on supervised release.
“The jury’s verdict provides justice for this child victim and affirms our commitment to the protection of our most vulnerable,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “Through concerted efforts like Operation Stolen Innocence we will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who prey upon our children.”
“Operation Stolen Innocence was part of the Tallahassee Police Department’s collective commitment to dismantle sexual exploitation in our community,” said Chief Lawrence Revell. “We are pleased to see another offender found guilty of their crimes against those most vulnerable in our community. The continuous arrests resulting from this operation are a true testament to the diligent work of our investigators and every agency we have worked with in this mission.”
“The successful federal prosecution of this child predator is a testament to the partnership, dedication and commitment of HSI, the Tallahassee Police Department, and the Northern District of Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office, to aggressively protect our most vulnerable victims, the children in our communities,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips.
This conviction was the result of a collaborative investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations as part of Operation Stolen Innocence, a multi-agency coordinated effort by the United States Marshals Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of State Attorney, Second Judicial Circuit, to combat human trafficking in the Tallahassee area.
First Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Spaven and Special Assistant United States Attorney Khari James prosecuted this case.