A Tacoma man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 23 years in prison and five years of supervised release for seven counts related to the sex trafficking of juveniles and adult women, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
Alexander Walls, 27, was found guilty on November 30, 2012 of conspiracy to transport a juvenile for prostitution, interstate transportation of a child for prostitution, witness tampering, conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. The jury deliberated about three hours following a 13 day trial. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan said, “The defendant has a long term showing of a lack of respect for the law, and this calls out for a severe sentence . . . he gives no indication that he will not continue the lifestyle that he has adopted.” Walls will be require d to register as a sex offender upon release from prison and he was ordered to have no contact with any of the victims.
“We and our law enforcement partners are committed to stopping these predators,” said U. S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “Today’s sentence sends a strong message that this exploitation will not be tolerated.”
According to records filed in the case, Walls controlled as many as four women involved in sex trafficking. Three of them were juveniles when he recruited them to work for him as prostitutes. Walls controlled their activities and took all the money they earned. He had them work the “track” in Pierce and King Counties, and several of them were advertised as prostitutes on Backpage.com, Craigslist, and TNABoard.com. Walls arranged for one juvenile to travel from Chicago to Tacoma to work as a prostitute for him. Walls directed this juvenile to hide from the police and later, to attempt to recant her report about Walls’s criminal activities, even while Walls was in jail. While directing the prostitution acts of the women, Walls enforced various “rules” on the women about who they could talk to, how much money they had to make, when they could eat, and where they could work as prostitutes. He assaulted them if they did not follow his rules, including strip searching them to look for money, and demanded they pay him as much as $1500 before they could leave his control.
Walls and co-defendant Reginald Irvin were arrested in the summer of 2011. Irvin pleaded guilty on October 17, 2012, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison on April 26, 2013.
The prosecutors noted in their sentencing memo that “The defendant is a predator and has no respect or regard for the law. His treatment of people in general, and women specifically, is egregious and despicable. He poses a significant threat to the physical and emotional safety of all persons with whom he has contact.”
The case was investigated by the Tacoma Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the FBI’s Child Exploitation Lost Task Force, formerly known as the Innocence Lost Task Force. The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force provides a rapid and effective investigative response to reported federal crimes involving the victimization of children. The task force strives to reduce the vulnerability of children to acts of sexual exploitation and abuse and strengthens the capabilities of federal, state, and local law enforcement through training programs and investigative assistance.