RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - A Johnston County man was found guilty in federal court on Thursday of child sex crimes including human trafficking and child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Marvarlus Cortel Snead, 34, of Four Oaks, was convicted by a jury of sex trafficking of a minor, production of child pornography, and using facilities in interstate commerce to operate a prostitution enterprise.
According to prosecutors, Snead prostituted an adult female and a minor in various locations throughout eastern North Carolina.
“[He] targeted extremely vulnerable victims and enticed them with promises of money and romance. After they joined him, Snead manipulated them and took their money for himself. Snead engaged in a sexual relationship with both women and used the minor to create images and a video of child pornography,” a news release stated.
Snead and another woman, Ashanti Welton McLean, were arrested in New Hanover County in Jan. 2018 following a prostitution bust by the sheriff’s office.
According to a previous news release by the sheriff’s office, Vice and Narcotics detectives set up a meeting online with a possible prostitute and agreed to meet at a hotel off Military Cutoff Road. When detectives arrived at the hotel for the rendezvous, they realized the prostitute was an underage teen and a victim of human trafficking.
“This case is about the victims, who suffered at the hands of a greedy trafficker. Our community will not tolerate perpetrators like this defendant targeting our most vulnerable children and citizens for their profit,” said U.S Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr.
Snead faces 15 years to life in prison, a fine of $750,000, and a life of supervised parole if released from prison.
McLean previously pleaded guilty for her role and was sentenced to at least eight years in prison.