A Billings man convicted of multiple crimes stemming from a broad investigation into a sex trafficking network that involved nearly 20 victims, including minor girls, violence, drugs, and the shooting death of a victim, was sentenced today to 26 years and 10 months in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

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The defendant, William Maurice Newkirk, 41, pleaded guilty in January to sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, use of a facility in interstate commerce in aid of racketeering, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and transportation of a person with the intent to engage in prostitution.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. Judge Watters also set a restitution hearing for Sept. 9 and ordered a total of $10,200 in special assessments.

U.S. Attorney Laslovich said this.

For years, Newkirk ruthlessly wielded abuse, threats, violence and drugs to force women and girls to work in commercial sex, all so he could make money.  Far too many victims suffered, including one who tragically died as a result of Newkirk’s reprehensible actions. Today’s sentence holds Newkirk accountable for his criminal conduct. My office will continue to aggressively fight sex trafficking occurring in our communities and to seek justice for victims.

View the full release from the District of Montana Department of Justice here.

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