An undercover federal agent posted an advertisement on the website’s public discussion board.
Posing as the leader of a human trafficking organization in April, he asked for someone who could “break” a “slave.”
A user under the name TheAlphaMajor responded.
“I won’t report you,” the man behind the account said during a phone call the next day, according to a criminal complaint. “Tell me what the real deal is just so I know what I’m getting into.”
The undercover agent explained a woman was refusing to engage in commercial sex.
“In your particular situation you’re looking for her to be more afraid of the punishment than she is of the work,” the man replied, according to the complaint, later saying “I consider that you know it’s not submission it’s oppression and what you’re talking about is oppression, which I don’t give a s—…. It’s a means to an end for you.”
The complaint says the man “communicated his understanding of the difference between fetish submission and forcing someone into commercial sex.”
“I would be happy to help you,” he said, according to the complaint. “Anonymity is going to be key…I really do not want the negative press or dealing with the legal ramifications.”
A day later, Cypress, Texas, resident John Kelley met with the agent in person for over an hour at an establishment in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as members of a trafficking task force surveilled them, authorities say. Their conversation was recorded with audio and video.
Kelley reassured the agent of his ability to break the human trafficking victim and his plans to return to the area to torture her, according to the complaint.
On May 14, Kelley texted the agent “plan to deliver her Monday night…..I still need to get chain and locks” and a bucket to use the bathroom, the complaint says.
When Kelley arrived at an address provided by the agent on May 17, he was taken into custody. He was indicted Tuesday on a charge of attempt to aid and abet sex trafficking.
In an order of detention pending trial, a federal judge with the Northern District of Texas-Dallas Division said Kelley “reported a high net worth, significant assets, and considerable cash on hand” and a could be sentenced to a “very lengthy prison term.”
“The defendant thus has an incentive to flee, as well as the means to do so,” the judge wrote in the order.