On January 3, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion sentenced Stroudsburg resident Sirvonn Taylor, age 37, to 20 years imprisonment for leading a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and selling over a kilogram of heroin in Pennsylvania and Maine. Additionally, Taylor faces eight years of supervised release following his prison sentence, and he must comply with sex offender registration and notification requirements.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Taylor, who went by the gang name “Black”, was a member of the Black P-Stones. The Black P-Stones are a street gang in which male members are “beaten-in” and female members are “sexed-in” to the gang. The gang recruited and coerced female members to engage in prostitution using threats, force, drugs, and intimidation. They advertised the women as adult escorts online, using hotels and motels to sex traffic them. The CSE Institute has previously covered the convictions and sentencing of other members of this gang.
Gang controlled sex trafficking is a common subset of sex trafficking as a whole – occurring in a majority of states. Gang trafficking offers a “familial” structure with all of members acting as traffickers, which causes additional confusion for victims. As with pimp-controlled trafficking, many trafficked persons do not see themselves as victims because of the manipulation tactics and fraudulent relationships that were used to draw them in. Many women view being prostituted as their “role” as members within the gang; however, they are viewed as property by the other members, not an equal partner. According to Shared Hope International, gangs can make as much as $450,000 per year per trafficking victim.
The CSE Institute commends the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania State Police, Maine State Police, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, and Monroe County Police Department for their collaborative efforts throughout the investigation and their commitment to curbing gang violence. They came together for this case as a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide initiative focused on creating comprehensive solutions to the most pressing violent crime problems in communities. We also encourage authorities to focus on pursuing sex buyers who fuel the commercial sex industry. This strategy, known as the Nordic Model, attacks the demand for prostituted persons while decriminalizing prostituted persons themselves. Sadly, as long as there is demand from sex buyers, traffickers will find a way to exploit others to make a profit.