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Man sentenced to prison in Massachusetts based sex trafficking operation spanning several states

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BOSTON – A former Brockton man was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Boston on sex trafficking charges.

Matthew Engram, a/k/a “Magic,” 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 12 years in prison and five years of supervised release. On Feb. 17, 2022, Engram pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, two counts of transportation of an individual for purposes of prostitution and one count of conspiracy to commit interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise.

“Mr. Engram took advantage of numerous young women through psychological manipulation, violence and fear. For over six years, he profited off of their pain and exploitation,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Although we can never take away the trauma and violence endured by these survivors, (Thursday’s) sentencing makes clear that the federal government is committed to eliminating human trafficking and holding traffickers accountable. My office and our law enforcement partners remain relentless in this pursuit.”

“Sex trafficking is an atrocious crime that dehumanizes victims by depriving them of their freedom and dignity,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “(Thursday’s) sentence demonstrates that there are severe consequences for those who seek to exploit vulnerable young women for their own financial profit. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute human traffickers and provide support and resources for survivors of trafficking.”

“Engram used violence and threats to control his victims, seeing them not as individuals, but as means for profit. His callous exploitation violated their basic human dignity as he trafficked them around the country to engage in commercial sex,” said Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge for the Homeland Security Investigations’ New England Field Office. “We hope that (Thursday’s) sentence offers a modicum of justice to those victimized by him who continue to live with the impacts of his actions.”

“Victims of human trafficking suffer physical abuse and immeasurable emotional abuse from their captors. We are pleased to see justice served today and proud of the hard work and collaboration that led to (Thursday’s) sentencing,” said Brockton Police Chief Brenda Perez.

From January 2009 until August 2015, Engram, aided by co-conspirator Natashia Bowman, recruited and trafficked three identified victims, as well as others, from a residence in Brockton and elsewhere to engage in commercial sex acts and took all or part of the proceeds.

Engram recruited the victims and others by falsely promising good earnings. Engram then advertised the victims on websites, exchanged text messages with Bowman to share advertisements, organized prostitution dates and reserved hotel rooms. To maintain control, Engram used physical assault, intimidation and isolation to create a climate of fear that compelled the victims and others to continue engaging in commercial sex acts for his profit. When the victims did not comply with Engram’s demands or did not make enough money, he physically assaulted them or directed Bowman to physically assault them. Engram also transported, or caused to transport, the victims to other states, including Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Florida and Maine, to perform commercial sex acts.

In September 2020, Bowman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 9, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Rollins, AAG Clarke, HSI SAC Millhollin, Chief Perez and Boston Police Acting Commissioner Gregory Long made the announcement today. Assistance was provided by Homeland Security Investigations in Philadelphia. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit and Trial Attorneys Shan Patel and Vasantha Rao of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.

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