A SeaTac, Washington man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 15 years in prison and 15 years of supervised release for sex trafficking through force, fraud, and coercion, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. RONNIE LEON TRAMBLE, 29, will also have to pay restitution to five women he forced to work as prostitutes. The amount of restitution will be determined at a later hearing. At sentencing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said, “So many of these victims were juveniles and vulnerable.”
“Sex trafficking is a horrific crime that often preys upon our most vulnerable citizens: young children and teens,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “We will continue to target people like Ronnie Tramble who victimize our youth. Our community is safer with this defendant off the streets.”
According to records in the case, TRAMBLE coerced or forced more than five different women to work for him as prostitutes. Some of these victims were under the age of 18. The plea agreement details how TRAMBLE recruited one victim and forced her to work as a prostitute with threats and violence. TRAMBLE repeatedly beat the victim and forced her to give her prostitution earnings to him. TRAMBLE was charged federally in August 2011. He first came to the attention of law enforcement a year earlier, when Kent Police officers encountered a juvenile female working as a prostitute. This victim told police how TRAMBLE beat and coerced her, and how he advertised her as a prostitute on Backpage.com. Further investigation by law enforcement revealed that for more than five years, TRAMBLE forced numerous women to work for him as prostitutes. He has a prior Washington state conviction for promoting prostitution.
In their request for a significant sentence, prosecutors describe the horror experienced by those preyed upon by TRAMBLE. “The seriousness of Tramble’s crimes is magnified by his constant physical, emotional, and verbal abuse towards his victims. Each of the young women told chilling tales of being viciously beaten by Tramble and being threatened with even greater harm if they did not follow his rules. Victim T.E. spoke of being subjected to some of the most degrading acts imaginable—including being forced to have sex with Tramble against her will and being forced to strip naked to prove that she was not hiding her prostitution earnings on her body. Tramble continually and horrifically exploited his victims for many years,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, TRAMBLE will have to register as a sex offender.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force, which is composed of local, state and federal law enforcement officers who investigate juvenile prostitution. Key assistance was provided by the Kent Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kate Crisham and Ye-Ting Woo.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at 206-553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.