Nov. 30 2015 08:16 AM

Lansing man pleads guilty to federal charges

MONDAY, Nov. 30 —Tyrone Smith, 45, has pleaded guilty to three federal counts of sex trafficking girls and women in Lansing and transporting them across state lines for prostitution.

He faces a minimum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced in April.

Smith forced the women to walk the stroll on Kalamazoo Street in search of clients.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Michigan reports Smith signed a written statement to the crimes.

“In a written plea agreement, Smith admitted to recruiting the first victim, an adult woman, in about December 2012, providing her with heroin, posting commercial sex ads of her online in lingerie, and arranging for johns to pay for sex with her in Lansing, Chicago, and elsewhere over a two-year period,” federal authorities wrote in a press release. “Smith admitted to being physically violent and threatening towards her throughout this time, knowing that this would cause her to continue to engage in commercial sex acts.

“Smith also admitted to recruiting a 17-year-old girl and sex trafficking her from December 2014 to June 2015,” the press release continues. “He arranged for johns to buy sex from her in his Lansing residence and area motels, and he took her to Chicago for several weeks in early 2015. The minor watched Smith assault another woman for her disloyalty to Smith’s prostitution business, and Smith continued to cause the minor to engage in commercial sex acts after that. In June 2015, while Smith and the minor were in a Lansing motel, Smith grabbed her by the neck and threw her on the bed to stop her from leaving with the cell phone he gave her, which had a large amount of information on it about his prostitution business. The minor sought medical attention afterwards for a concussion, a laceration on the bridge of her nose, and bruising on her face and body. Smith admitted that a short time later, he reconnected with the minor and continued arranging commercial sex dates for her.”

Smith pled guilty to second-degree murder in 1996 and spent 15 years in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections. He was released in June 2013. Federal officials said shortly thereafter began recruiting women into his operation.