Upstate pimp, girlfriend ordered to pay $28K to children they se - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate pimp, girlfriend ordered to pay $28K to children they sex trafficked online

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AJ Simmons and Brittany Smith (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention) AJ Simmons and Brittany Smith (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The U.S. Department of Justice said an Upstate man and his girlfriend were sentenced Wednesday for the sex trafficking of minors.

Ashford James "AJ" Simmons, 29 of Gray Court, and Brittany Nicole Smith, 24 of Piedmont, were involved in a conspiracy trafficking children and advertised commercial sex acts involving the victims online.

The couple received proceeds of the sex acts performed by the victims, who were recruited to work as prostitutes between May and June 2015. Authorities said one of the victims was recruited from a juvenile drug rehabilitation center.

Simmons, a previously-convicted felon, was unlawfully in possession of a loaded Sig Sauer .40 caliber handgun while he trafficked one of the children on May 30, 2015.

Simmons was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The U.S. Attorney said when arguing for a lighter sentence, Simmons "compared selling the minors for sex to investing in the stock market."

Officials said Smith received less time because she had no prior convictions and was not the leader of the sex trafficking operation. She was sentenced to 4 years and 9 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

The couple has to pay $14,480 each in restitution to the victims.

The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, the Newberry County Sheriff's Office and ICE agents assisted in the investigation.

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