(News Release) - On Friday, United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced the sentencing of Markeace Canty, a/k/a “Quake,” 33 years old, to 300 months in federal prison for prostituting a child throughout the Upper Midwest, including in Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Canty was indicted on May 6, 2013, and found guilty by a federal jury on September 12, 2013, of Conspiring to Commit Sex Trafficking of a Child, and Sex Trafficking of a Child.
“This defendant sexually trafficked a young woman for his own personal enrichment,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “Victims of sex trafficking may never fully recover from the harm done to them, and this office will aggressively continue to prosecute those who prey on children.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez said: “Markeace Canty reaped great financial rewards by exploiting a child. He used money gained by advertising and selling an underage girl in order to buy personal items like jewelry and a flat-screen television. In doing so, he exposed the victim to physical and psychological harm. The lengthy sentence handed down today clearly demonstrates that, whatever the financial gain, the cost of these crimes is too high.”
As proven at trial and according to documents filed in court, from at least July 2012 through in or about January 2013, Canty trafficked at least one girl for the purpose of prostitution in at least five states. The defendant placed sexually suggestive advertisements in the “adult entertainment” section of a website called backpage.com. Canty and the trafficking victim were observed multiple times by law enforcement officials at various hotels in locations for which he had placed ads on backpage.com, including one incident in which she agreed to perform sexual acts with an undercover police officer in exchange for $200. The victim was arrested at least once on suspicion of engaging in prostitution during this time period.
On January 14, 2013, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Grand Forks Police Department executed a search warrant for a hotel room booked in Canty’s name. Pursuant to federal warrants, agents seized an iPhone belonging to Canty containing photographs used in backpage.com advertisements linked to the defendant’s cell phone number. Also contained on the iPhone were photographs of Canty displaying large sums of cash, jewelry, and a flat-screen television.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez.
United States Attorney Andrew Luger thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Duluth Police Department, Porter County Sheriff’s Department (IN), Grand Forks Police Department (ND), Fargo Police Department (ND), and the Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department (ND), for their assistance with the investigation.
MARKEACE CANTY a/k/a “QUAKE,” D.O.B. 8/23/1980
Conspiring to Commit Sex Trafficking of a Child, 1 count
Sex Trafficking of a Child, 1 count
300 months in prison
180 month term of supervised release