The Honorable William K. Sessions III sentenced Brian Folks, 45, to twenty-two years and six months in prison today, followed by ten years of supervision upon release. A federal jury in Burlington, Vermont, previously found Folks guilty of 13 federal felonies after a nearly three-week trial back in May 2019. Evidence presented at trial showed that Folks ran an extensive and violent sex and drug trafficking operation that sold heroin and cocaine base throughout the greater Burlington area and forced young, drug-addicted women to prostitute.
In 2018, Polaris reported the highest number of sex trafficking survivors in the United States was 243, their ages ranged from 15-17 years of age. In 2018 the numbers reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline illustrated that 7,126 women were trafficked and 2,378 minors were trafficked.
Jasmine’s story is featured in this article. Jasmine Grace was 19 when she met an older man. After graduating from cosmetology school, the trafficker sold Jasmine to men around the East Coast for five years.
Twenty witnesses testified for the government, including eight women, most of whom were addicted to drugs and worked in his sex and/or drug trafficking business. Two additional victims died of drug overdoses prior to trial.
Vermont’s attorney general and U.S. attorney announced an agreement Tuesday to implement a multi-disciplinary approach to fighting human trafficking in Vermont.