In July and August 2012, authorities said Eddie Allen Jackson recruited the girls to work for him as child prostitutes. He drove them back and forth to Grand Rapids, where he put them on the street to solicit men for sex. He also took them to semi-vacant houses to perform acts of prostitution with men.
The teens — whose identities are protected — were in grades 8-10.
Jackson was reportedly arrested in Murfreesboro, Tenn., in December 2013.
“This was the first child sex trafficking case to be prosecuted federally in Western Michigan,” U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles Jr. said.
The jury convicted Jackson on all three counts after a two-day trial. He was returned to custody following the trial and will be sentenced in September. He faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
Miles said Jackson targeted vulnerable girls with troubled backgrounds. An FBI agent testified that the victims in this case share qualities common for child victims of sex trafficking. Specifically, he explained that pimps often target teenage girls who are unlikely to tell on the pimp, and who are easy to manipulate and control because the pimp fills a void in their lives.
Jackson controlled his victims by making them feel like he loved and cared about them, interspersed with threats and violence, Miles said.