Ware man sentenced for sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of a minor

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BOSTON – A Ware man was sentenced Friday in federal court in Springfield on sex trafficking and sexual exploitation charges.

Walter Brown, 74, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release. In October 2019, Brown pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sexual exploitation of a child, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking. Brown was arrested on July 14, 2017 and has been detained since that time.

On Oct 11, 2019, co-defendant Claire Poole was sentenced to 125 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking.

Poole moved to the Springfield area in early 2017 and later helped Brown have sex with a teenage girl. Brown induced the girl to provide pornographic videos and to have sex with him on two occasions by paying her money. Poole acted as a go-between, first by conveying Brown’s initial offer to the girl and then by relaying Brown’s messages to the victim, which included negotiations about what Brown would pay. Poole also provided a cell phone to produce the pornographic videos, and Poole transported the minor to Brown’s house in Ware for sex on two occasions.

United States Andrew E. Lelling; Hampden County District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Ware Police Chief Shawn Crevier; Monson Police Chief Stephen Kozloski; and Amherst Police Chief Scott Livingstone made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office prosecuted the case. 

This case is the result of the efforts of the Western Massachusetts Human Trafficking Working Group which was established in August 2015 to investigate and prosecute crimes involving commercial sex trafficking.

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