BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Buffalo man convicted of sex trafficking, narcotics conspiracy and multiple other charges faces 20 years to life in prison. Prosecutors say he ran a sex trafficking operation out of his Humboldt Parkway home.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 51-year-old Valentino Shine, Sr. ran the sex trafficking ring out of his home and "preyed upon and exploited women who were vulnerable and addicted to drugs, coercing them to engage in commercial sex acts. The defendant provided or withheld drugs to coerce the victims to engage in commercial sex acts."
Officials say evidence presented during a trial showed Shine was recovering from a cocaine addiction and knew the power that drug addiction could have over someone.
Shine urged victims to advertise on backpage.com and perform sex acts for money, after they received the money it would be given to Shine.
Officials say Shine used physical beatings, manipulation and brainwashing as well as drugs to control at least nine victims.
Three women died of drug overdoes while working for Shine, according to prosecutors.
“Let this verdict serve as a warning to predators like Valentino Shine who think that they can exploit women and girls for profit and sexual servitude,” said U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. “My Office simply will not permit human traffickers—the modern day equivalent of slave owners—to exist in our community.”