Federal Jury Convicts Defendants of Attempted Enticement of Children to Engage in Prostitution

SAN DIEGO – Today, a federal jury convicted Defendants Conoly Freddie Franklin and Andre Anthony Franklin of attempted enticement of minors to engage in prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b). Defendant Conoly Franklin was also convicted of attempted enticement of an adult to engage in prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(a).

The evidence at trial established that between August 22, 2018, and August 31, 2018, Conoly Franklin communicated with an undercover officer with the San Diego County Sheriffs’ Department who was working with the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force. Believed that the officer was a young woman with a teenage sister, over the course of nine days, Conoly Franklin attempted to recruit the officer’s undercover persona and her 16-year old sister to work as prostitutes for him in Reno, Nevada. On August 30, 2018, Conoly Franklin advised he had obtained a vehicle in order to pick up both girls, was bringing his “boy,” and was beginning his trip to the San Diego area location provided by the undercover officer. Conoly Franklin arrived the following morning, along with his son, Andre Anthony Franklin, at which point San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force officers arrested both defendants. Following the Defendants’ arrest, Task Force Officers learned that throughout the trip, Andre Franklin was communicating with someone he believed to be another 16-year old girl, in Napa, California, but who was actually an undercover deputy with the Napa County Special Investigations Bureau. Andre Franklin told the deputy that he would be picking her up and taking her back to Reno to work for him as a prostitute, after he and his father picked up the sisters in San Diego.


The evidence at trial included a text message between Andre Franklin and “Pops,” from Tuesday, August 28, 2018, in which “Pops” asks Andre, “Wanna rock with me to San Diego, got 2 on deck.” Evidence also showed that the undercover deputy in Napa, California told Andre Franklin that she was 16-years-old. Undeterred, Andre Franklin continued to discuss performing commercial sex acts and the price that she would need to pay to work for him.


“The cavalier sex trafficking of children triggers traumas that can affect victims for decades,” said U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer, Jr. “Thanks to the efforts of dedicated officers with the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and Napa County Special Investigations Bureau and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katie McGrath, Eric Roscoe, and Mark Conover, these defendants’ devious plans were thwarted in their tracks.”


Sentencing is set for September 9, 2019 before Federal District Court Judge William Hayes.


DEFENDANTS
Case Number: 18-CR-4187-WQH

Conoly Freddie Franklin
Andre Anthony Franklin
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Attempted enticement of an adult (Conoly Franklin) 18 U.S.C. § 2422(a)
Penalty: A maximum of 20 years in prison; a maximum of $250,000, up to five years of supervised release.
Attempted enticement of a minor (both Defendants) 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b)
Penalty: A mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in prison; a maximum of $250,000, at least five years of supervised release and up to life.
INVESTIGATING AGENCIES
San Diego County Sheriffs’ Department
Federal Bureau of Investigation
San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force
Napa County Special Investigations Bureau