DALLAS — A Dallas man who called himself “Macknificent” pleaded guilty today to human trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.
Tremont Blakemore, 42, was first arrested in September 2018 and later charged in September 2019. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to sex trafficking through force, fraud and coercion before U.S. District Judge Ada Brown.
According to Dallas police back in 2018, Blakemore's group had connections to multiple cities in Texas and throughout the country.
Officials executed a search warrant in 2018 at three locations: in the 12400 block of Yellow Wood Drive in Fort Worth; 4500 block of Marcell Avenue in Dallas and 1700 block of Overlook Drive in Lancaster.
Blakemore was the head of the prostitution organization and maintained a group of 20 women and prostituted them for the group’s profit, police said.
Blakemore systematically "brutalized his victims" and convinced them they had no choice but to live by his orders, according to U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham.
“We formed the North Texas Trafficking Task Force – a coalition of federal, state, and local law enforcement dedicated to ending the scourge of human trafficking – to pursue cases just like this one," Meacham said. "We hope that this guilty plea will be a balm to survivors as they work to rebuild their lives.”
In plea papers, Blakemore admitted to running a large-scale human trafficking organization, using the threat of grotesque violence to force women to engage in commercial sex acts for his financial benefit, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
“This defendant’s era of coercing and violently forcing individuals into the perils of sex trafficking is over thanks to the work of our special agents and law enforcement partners who investigated and arrested this deviant criminal,” said acting Deputy Special Agent in Charge of HIS Dallas Bradley Hudson. “He will soon face the harsh realities of his transgressions as he spends a good portion of his life behind bars.”
Blakemore compelled women to travel cross-country to engage in commercial sex and posted ads for them on sites like Backpage.com. He demanded that the women turn all money over to him and required them to seek permission for personal expenditures, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Blakemore also admitted when his victims disobeyed his “rules," such as leaving the house without his permission or keeping money for themselves, he would use violence to force them into submission. According to court documents, victims told law enforcement that he slapped, punched, choked, kicked and burned them with cigarettes.
“I’m going to make an example out of someone soon,” he wrote in a group text message to victims. “I will not continue to tolerate disrespect that’s one of my biggest pet peeves.”
In an effort to appear successful in order to recruit additional victims to his trafficking organization, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Blakemore admitted that he used money from his victim’s sexual encounters to purchase luxury goods, including multiple pieces of diamond, gold jewelry and multiple Rolex watches. He used his lifestyle to impress other traffickers, and even sported multiple trophies touting his success as a “pimp," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Blakemore now faces up to 20 years in federal prison. His sentencing has been set for October 6.
Homeland Security Investigations’ Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Oakridge Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, and the North Texas Trafficking Task Force’s law enforcement partners. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melanie Smith and Nicole Dana prosecuted the case.