A Dallas man was charged Sept. 11 for allegedly operating a sex trafficking ring that spanned seven years and victimized hundreds of women, federal officials say.
Tremont Blakemore, 40, was charged by criminal complaint with sex trafficking through force, fraud and coercion, according to a statement released Wednesday by the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. Hundreds of women may have been trafficked from 2011 to Sept. 2018, when Blakemore was arrested by Dallas and Fort Worth police.
If convicted, Blakemore would face life in prison.
The criminal complaint described a culture of fear, enforced through physical violence, within Blakemore’s alleged sex trafficking network. The accused human trafficker allegedly “slapped, punched, choked, and kicked” women he forced into prostitution, and “occasionally burned them with cigarettes”. Several were forced to tattoo his street name “Macknificent” on their bodies as a sign of loyalty.
Prosecutors said Blakemore body-slammed one of his victims into an air conditioning unit after she said she wanted to quit the business and raise a family, leaving her bruised, bloodied, and with severe back injuries. The victim said she believed Blakemore wanted to “make an example” in front of the other victims so they’d be afraid to talk about a life outside his control.
“I’m going to make an example out of someone soon,” Blakemore wrote in a group text to the women. “I will not continue to tolerate disrespect that’s one of my biggest pet peeves.”
In another text, he said “we need to be bringing in 100k a week,” and said “those don’t like working need day jobs.” Prosecutor said Blakemore gave his victims a daily quota of $1,000 and demand them to turn all their earnings over to him.
Blakemore allegedly appointed certain victims “group leaders,” tasking them with managing women when they were sent to other states, which included California, New York, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North and South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Hawaii and Ohio, reported Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Blakemore’s alleged sex trafficking circle was exposed in April 2018 when a woman lied to Blakemore about being sick and was allowed to go to Dallas hospital, according to Fort Worth Star Telegram, citing the affidavits. In the safety of the hospital, she told police that Blakemore beat and threatened to kill her and some other 20 women he controlled. Five months later, Dallas and Fort Worth police raided Blakemore’s Fort Worth residence and several other homes in North Texas, taking Blakemore into custody.
The Homeland Security Investigations began looking into Blakemore in February 2019, a few months after he was indicted on compelling prostitution by force charges in Dallas County.