HSI Dallas-led investigation yields 20-year sentence for sex trafficker


HSI Dallas-led investigation yields 20-year sentence for sex trafficker

By U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Originally posted on

DALLAS – A Dallas man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for sex trafficking a minor following an investigation by the Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Dallas led North Texas Trafficking Task Force (NTTTF).

Laderrick Dedemon Smith, 23, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan on May 26, 2022. He pled guilty on August 24, 2021.

“Child sex trafficking is one of the most deviant crimes we investigate in our agency,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Christopher Miller, HSI Dallas. “The work of our law enforcement partners of the North Texas Trafficking Task Force has proven to be invaluable in removing these dangerous predators from our communities, while at the same time providing much needed assistance to those victimized by their perpetrators.”

According to information presented in court, in April 2020, HSI Dallas and the Arlington Police Department, along with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, rescued the minor victim trafficked by Smith.

“Protecting children from predators like Smith is one of our top priorities,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “I’m proud of the work our partners at the North Texas Trafficking Task Force do hunting for those who prey on children. He who harms a child will suffer the wrath of law enforcement and will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

During the investigation, special agents discovered that Smith trafficked the minor victim, and others, out of a hotel room in Plano, Texas. Smith placed ads in commercial sex sites with photographs of the minor victims and offered them for sex. He communicated with prospective buyers, set rates, and arranged for the commercial sex acts. Smith also installed a tracking device on the victim’s cell phone so that the minor could not leave the hotel, obtain food, or seek medical treatment without his permission.

In sentencing Smith, the district court found that he kept the minor victim under his supervisory control, and that Smith unduly influenced the minor victim to engage in commercial sex through fear of bodily injury. In addition to his imprisonment of 20 years, he will also serve a term of supervised release of 15 years, during which time Smith will be required to register as a sex offender.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 1-866-347-2423, or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the United States and Canada, callers should dial (802) 872-6199. Hearing impaired users may call TTY (802) 872-6196.

One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. Further, HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify, and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.