OXFORD, Miss. – U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze announced today that a Memphis man was sentenced in Mississippi on Thursday for his role in a human trafficking scheme. Mario D. Collins of Memphis, Tennessee was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills for trafficking a victim from Georgia to Tennessee and ultimately to Oxford, Mississippi for commercial sex purposes.
An investigation conducted by the Oxford Police Department and the FBI revealed that the female victim was transported from Atlanta, Georgia to Oxford, Mississippi by Collins and Clayton so that she could engage in prostitution. Evidence presented at a December 2017 trial established that OPD Officers responded to an Oxford motel on April 27, 2017, after receiving a 911 call indicating that the victim was being held against her will. Collins and Clayton were arrested in the hotel parking lot and the victim was recovered from inside the hotel. OPD Officers Joshua Shipp and Brandon Jenkins were among the officers who initially responded to the 911 call and assisted throughout the investigation and trial of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Clay Dabbs and Sam Stringfellow represented the United States in this case which was spearheaded by agents and officers from the FBI and the Oxford Police Department.
U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar praised the cooperative teamwork of the FBI and the Oxford Police Department. Lamar further remarked, “We are dedicated to keeping our communities safe, especially from human trafficking. Women, many of whom are very young, are often coerced into prostitution by predators, taken advantage of, and are frequently victims of violence themselves. We will continue to work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to address this problem in our District and prosecute those responsible.”
“Human trafficking in any form is reprehensible, and those who promote trafficking human beings for sex or labor are not welcome in our communities,” said Christopher Freeze, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. The FBI and our law enforcement partners statewide will continue to aggressively seek out those who exploit innocent victims to line their own pockets.”
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Northern District of Mississippi