Wasilla man sentenced for 'manipulative' trafficking of women
A Wasilla man was sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison on Wednesday, after a federal judge said he targeted drug-addicted females to commit sex crimes for his own benefit.
According to court documents, on Jan. 13, 2016, Alaska State Troopers used a warrant to search 44-year-old Terry Lee Keehn II's home and vehicle for evidence of sex trafficking and drugs.
"During a search of the defendant’s truck, law enforcement officers found a backpack with drug paraphernalia, including a digital scale, glass pipes, and unused baggies commonly used for distribution of drugs. In a backpack in the truck was methamphetamine and heroin," Chloe Martin, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder's office, wrote in a statement Wednesday.
Troopers say they identified several women Keehn recruited to work for him as "prostitutes" around Anchorage and the Mat-Su. According to the press release he targeted drug-addicted women, claiming he would provide them shelter and help them get off heroin.
"In some instances, the defendant substituted methamphetamine for heroin, continuing the victims’ dependence on controlled substances," Martin wrote. "In exchange for lodging, food, and drugs, the victims worked as prostitutes for the defendant, providing him with money and sexual favors."
Because of the seriousness of the crime, U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess ordered Keehn to serve 13 years, 10 months in prison, followed by a 10-year term of supervised release, for two counts of sex trafficking through force, fraud, and coercion.
“There are a lot of serious crimes in the world, but [sex trafficking] is up there as being among the most serious,” Burgess said at the sentencing.
Burgess added that Keehn's conduct towards the women he exploited was “incredibly manipulative, coercive, and demeaning... and was “going to impact [his victims] probably for the rest of their lives.”