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Jury convicts resident of Tallahassee on trafficking offenses of a minor

Verdict was made Wednesday
Scales of Justice
Posted at 8:39 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 20:39:05-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A man who is a resident of Tallahassee was convicted by a federal jury on crimes against a minor Wednesday.

According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice’s United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Florida, Tyron Columbia Watson, age 39, was found guilty of two counts of sex trafficking of a minor under the age of 14.

Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida made the announcement of the verdict Thursday.

“The jury’s verdict provides justice for this child victim and affirms our commitment to the protection of our most vulnerable,” said Coody in a statement. “Through concerted efforts like Operation Stolen Innocence we will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who prey upon our children.”

The guilty verdict came after a three-day trial.

Watson could be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years up to life in prison, subject to a $250,000 fine and a maximum life of supervised release.

“Operation Stolen Innocence was part of the Tallahassee Police Department’s collective commitment to dismantle sexual exploitation in our community,” said Tallahassee Police Department Chief Lawrence Revell in a statement. “We are pleased to see another offender found guilty of their crimes against those most vulnerable in our community. The continuous arrests resulting from this operation are a true testament to the diligent work of our investigators and every agency we have worked with in this mission.”

The case was prosecuted by States Attorney Michelle Spaven and Special Assistant United States Attorney Khari James.

The Tallahassee Police Department, Homeland Security Investigators as part of Operation Stolen Innocence, a multi-agency coordinated effort by the United States Marshals Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of State Attorney, Second Judicial Circuit, to combat human trafficking in the Tallahassee area worked together in the investigation of the case.