MOBILE — A Florida man has been sentenced in federal court to 24 months in federal prison after being arrested earlier this year in Robertsdale on human trafficking charges.
According to a release issued Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Alabama, Tee-Henry Wulu Currens, 22, of Robertsdale, was sentenced Aug. 15 for violation of 18 United States Code 2421 – transporting any individual in interstate commerce intending to that individual engage in prostitution.
According to the release, in his sentencing of Currens, U.S. District Court Judge Terry F. Moore said he considered Currens’s actions on the day he was arrested, as well as his conduct during his interview with a U.S. probation officer, which necessitated extra jail security in order to ensure her safety.
“I want to congratulate both the Robertsdale Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security in Mobile for successfully pursuing this case,” Moorer said. “These human trafficking cases are often difficult to investigate and to prosecute but the Robertsdale Police Department and HSI stepped up on this case and did the hard work to bring this trafficker to justice. We do not have to accept that some people in our society will become sexual slaves. Both law enforcement and our community have a role to play in disrupting the traffickers’ trade.”
According to documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, in January 2019, Currens first met the female victim while she was working as a prostitute in Jacksonville, Florida, initially becoming her client. Soon after, Currens volunteered to work as his victim’s driver and provide her with security.
The victim told investigators that Currens became abusive, controlling, and forced her to meet with clients, and Currens would subsequently keep all the money from the trafficking event. The victim stated that Currens would force her to have sex with clients and that he would physically beat her if she refused to be trafficked.
On or about March 1, Currens drove the victim from Panama City, Florida, to the Mobile area for the purpose of trafficking her during Mardi Gras celebrations.
On March 2, the Robertsdale Police Department received a 911 call from the victim, who had managed to get away from Currens during a stop at a local gas station. The victim reported that she had been kidnapped by Currens out of Florida and brought to Alabama to engage in prostitution. Upon their arrival, Robertsdale Police noted the victim was visibly upset and had bruising on her head, face, and legs consistent with assault.
Baldwin County Corrections Facility records show that Currens, whose address is listed as Orange Park, Florida, was arrested March 2 on charges of kidnapping, first degree; human trafficking, second degree; and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released into federal custody on April 25.
Currens admitted to law enforcement the victim’s account of how the two had met. Currens also admitted that the two were from Florida and travelling to Mobile for the purpose of having the victim engage in prostitution. He stated they had argued while in Florida, where the victim had asked that he leave, but Currens refused.
The Robertsdale Police Department, along with Department of Homeland Security, Mobile Field Office, investigated this case.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and the threats and abuse inflicted on these particular victims only adds to the heinous nature of the crime,” said Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta Nick S. Annan. “HSI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to find and prosecute criminal traffickers while ensuring the victims of this terrible crime are rescued and get the care they need.”
Locally, The Rose Center in Mobile is a drop-in center specializing in providing services and resources for victims of human trafficking. Alabama Director Crystal Yarbrough said, “Today was a major victory for the women in our community who have had their voices silenced for far too long. Today the judge demonstrated that violence against women and the objectification of women will not be tolerated. This is an exciting day.”
Tuesday’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Baugh prosecuted the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama.