Roanoke man pleads guilty to sex-trafficking, meth, and gun charges

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -  A 25-year-old Roanoke man who conspired with others to distribute drugs and engage in sex-trafficking pleaded guilty on Friday, according to United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr.

Brandon Scott Thomas, who also goes by Gambino, pleaded guilty to a total of five counts:

  • one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine
  • two counts of sex trafficking
  • one count of conspiring to commit sex trafficking
  • one count of possession of a firearm.

"Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes we investigate," said Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations' Washington, D.C. field office. "Traffickers have no regard for human life, and they treat their victims as commodities. In this case, Thomas sold women just like he sold drugs. Today's guilty plea ensures justice for his victims and makes Southwest Virginia a safer place with one less trafficker on the streets."

The Department of Justice said on Friday, Thomas admitted to running a prostitution business that operated out of hotels in Roanoke and Charlottesville. He also admitted that he beat the prostitutes and took advantage of their drug addictions to pressure them to continue prostituting.

"These women were trapped by addiction and the violent nature of a man who preyed upon their vulnerabilities," United States John P. Fishwick Jr. said. "We are proud of the work law enforcement did to bring this defendant to justice and hopefully bring these victims of sex-trafficking to a brighter future."