MESA, Ariz. – A local area man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Jan. 7, for sex trafficking three women, including one minor, in a probe spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Mesa Police Department.
Louis Broadway-Phillips, 27, pleaded guilty to Illegal Control of an Enterprise, Attempt to Commit Sex Trafficking of a Minor, Sex Trafficking, Tampering with a Witness and Influencing a Witness.
Broadway-Phillips advertised on the internet, transported the women to hotel rooms, and forced them to perform prostitution acts in exchange for money during the time period of Sept. 2017 to April of 2018.
In April 2019, Broadway-Phillips was indicted by a State Grand Jury with Sex Trafficking and Illegal Enterprise crimes (CR 2019-001998). While on release and pending trial for those crimes, Broadway-Phillips threatened and attempted to convince all three women not to testify against him by contacting them himself, as well as using his friends and social media to harass and intimidate the women. In Oct. 2019, Broadway-Phillips was charged in a new case (CR 2019-146684) for Influencing and Tampering with Witnesses.
“Justice demands that we hold traffickers accountable for their actions,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Perpetrators use coercion and fear to re-victimize their vulnerable trafficking victims over and over. I commend Mesa Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations for their diligent work on this case. We will continue to work together to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.”
“This is just one of many cases that underscores the importance working together with our state and federal partners,” said Mesa Police Chief Ken Cost. “The relentless work by all investigators brought justice to everyone victimized. We will continue our commitment to serve and protect our community in the fight against sex trafficking.”
Assistant Attorney General Shawn Steinberg with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case.
In October 2020, DHS stood up the CCHT, an ICE-led center that integrates DHS investigative and enforcement operations, victim assistance, intelligence, outreach and training to effectively respond to human trafficking on a global scale. In fiscal year 2020, ICE arrested 1,746 individuals in connection with human trafficking and identified and assisted more than 400 victims. The top five locations for human trafficking criminal arrests by HSI were Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and Tampa, Florida.
Nationwide, HSI participates in a variety of human trafficking awareness events in January and throughout the year to educate medical professionals, key industries and the general public to identify indicators of trafficking activities. The recognition of human trafficking by others can save a victim’s life and help the investigation and prosecution of traffickers.
Suspicious activity can be submitted online at ice.gov/tipline, by phone at 866-DHS-2-ICE or by contacting your local ICE office.