Alabama man admits to trafficking woman for sex

Published 11:05 am Tuesday, February 1, 2022

A former resident of Alabama pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to charges of sex trafficking crimes, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Anthony Juskowich, age 23, who was residing in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty on January 28, 2022, to two counts before United States District Judge Christy Criswell Wiegand.

“The defendant’s plea comes following 19 months of diligent work by our Operation T.E.N. (Trafficking Ends Now) team and marks the first conviction in western Pennsylvania of an individual for the sex trafficking of an adult,” said U.S. Attorney Chung. “I note that this is also National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, a time set aside to raise awareness about human trafficking and to educate the public about how to identify and prevent this horrific crime.”

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that from January 2020 through May 2020, Juskowich knowingly conspired to commit sex trafficking, using force, threats of force, fraud or coercion, on an adult female, A.H., to cause her to engage in commercial sex acts. Additionally, Juskowich pled guilty to knowingly attempting to commit sex trafficking, of the same female, between May 13, 2020, and May 14, 2020.

The Court was further informed that on May 13, 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted an undercover operation, posing as a commercial sex buyer, during which time Juskowich arranged the “date”, or commercial sexual activity, to occur at a hotel in Moon Township with A.H. The next day, May 14, law enforcement entered the hotel room and identified themselves as law enforcement, rescuing A.H. from her trafficker, Juskowich.

Juskowich was arrested on the same day, by the Pittsburgh Police, for an outstanding warrant. He told the FBI and Pittsburgh Police that A.H. engages in sex work for money. Juskowich further described his role as driving A.H. from hotel to hotel and keeps the money A.H. made in a safe at their apartment. Juskowich further touted that A.H. makes $10,000 a month working for him and pointed out that he was wearing a $700 Louis Vuitton belt that he purchased with money A.H. made.

Text messages between A.H. and Juskowich raised numerous red flags to investigators working the case, revealing ongoing sex trafficking. For instance, Juskowich required A.H. to make $500 a day and set weekly quotas, telling A.H. that she could not come home without meeting the quota. Hotel records confirmed that from March 5, 2020, through May 15, 2020, Juskowich rented rooms, in A.H.’s name, on approximately 25 separate occasions, in the Moon Township area.

Investigators determined that Juskowich had been grooming A.H. since December of 2019, when the two met in Alabama. After a few failed attempts at expanding his sex trafficking business in Alabama and Georgia, Juskowich convinced A.H, who had never traveled outside of the south, to travel with him to Pittsburgh, where he claimed to know the commercial sex scene. Juskowich coerced and forced A.H. to engage in commercial sex acts based upon the false promise of working towards a legitimate future income source, purportedly by using A.H.’s earnings to purchase and run a fast-food franchise. Juskowich further acknowledged, at the change of plea hearing, that he used physical force and threats of force against A.H. and controlled everything that she did, compelling her to engage in commercial sex acts.

Judge Wiegand scheduled sentencing for June 2, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 15 years in prison and a fine of not more than $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the Court ordered the defendant remained detained.

Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Narcotics Division, and the Moon Township Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Juskowich.

This prosecution is part of Operation T.E.N. (Trafficking Ends Now), the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania’s coalition to end human trafficking. Operation
T.E.N. serves as an umbrella coalition for law enforcement, community and non-profit partners in the 25 counties in the Western District of Pennsylvania. This coordinated effort aims to end human trafficking through education and improved cooperation, thereby enhancing the office’s ability to empower victims of human trafficking to become thriving survivors.