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A Lehigh County man accused of pimping out a half-dozen heroin-addicted women in York County and elsewhere has been sentenced to a decade in federal prison.

Willie James Johnson appeared in Harrisburg's federal court on Wednesday, Feb. 13, where he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 special assessment fee under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, court records state.

Once released, Johnson will have to register as a sexual offender under Megan's Law and will be supervised by federal probation officers for 15 years. During that time, he is forbidden from having any contact with minors, according to federal court records.

Johnson, 58, of Catasauqua, Lehigh County, remains charged in York County with counts of sex trafficking and involuntary servitude and also is charged with dealing heroin. Those charges were filed in late 2017 by Northern York County Regional Police.

The federal case only partially overlaps York County's case. A federal grand jury in March 2018 indicted Johnson on two counts based on Northern Regional's investigation — sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud or coercion and heroin possession with intent to distribute.

Both offenses occurred in York County, according to his indictment, which states the sex-trafficking victim was 16 years old at the time.

Johnson pleaded guilty in federal court to both counts on Sept. 4, court records state.

The background: According to court documents filed by Northern Regional Police, Johnson "paid" his sex-trafficking victims in heroin and only enough for the women to "maintain" their addiction.

One of the women died after overdosing on heroin given to her by Johnson, police allege.

Another told investigators she started working for Johnson after he said she could make a lot of money and eventually buy a car — but he never gave her cash, only heroin, according to court documents.

Johnson pimped out the women in York, Lancaster and Allentown and took all the money they earned, documents state.

More: AG: Human traffickers face trial in Lancaster County

More: York legislators' proposal would double jail time for human traffickers and their patrons

Set sex rates: Johnson arranged the meetings between the women and set the rates paid by their "customers," police said.

In York County, he had his stable of victims working out of a private home; at the Quality Inn in Springettsbury Township; and at the  Motel 6, Super 8 and Econo Lodge in Manchester Township, according to police.

Johnson inherited a house on South Queen Street in York City, where police allege he packaged drugs to be sold.

He has a pretrial conference on his York County charges scheduled for April 17.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

 

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