A man who transported women around the country for prostitution was sentenced Monday by a federal judge in Kansas City to 17 years and six months in prison.
Calvin A. Miller, who called himself "Cerius Blacc," had pleaded guilty in March to charges of sex trafficking and transporting two women across state lines for prostitution.
Miller, 35, and a co-defendant, were arrested in 2016 at an Independence motel after undercover officers answered an online escort service ad.
Three women with them told police that they were forced to perform sex acts for money and then turn the money over to the men. One of the women said that $13,000 in the past month had all been turned Miller.
The women said they were physically and sexually assaulted by Miller and the other man, and were forced to use drugs to keep them addicted and dependent.
One of the women said Miller had broken her hip while they were in Overland Park earlier that year.
"If I tell you anything, he will kill me,” she told detectives.
One of the women said she was homeless and depressed when she began working as a prostitute. She said she was taken from Hannibal, Mo., to the St. Louis area, where she reportedly was forced to have sex with Miller and three other men.
She was threatened with “extreme violence and death” if she did not continue working as a prostitute, she told police.
Miller allegedly drove her from city to city in Kansas and Missouri, forcing her to engage in sex with men. He would keep all of the money, she said.
Miller's cousin and co-defendant, Henry Dailey, 37, was previously sentenced to seven years in prison.
But federal prosecutors described Miller as the "driving force" behind the sex trafficking ring and argued for a longer sentence.
"The defendant’s history indicates that he willingly uses violence against women (including the victims in the instant case, and other women) in order to control and punish women," prosecutors said in a court document arguing for a substantial sentence.