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Convicted felon arrested for sex trafficking weeks before Super Bowl LV pleads guilty

I-Team was at undercover operation when 27-year-old was arrested
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 23:32:53-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A convicted felon arrested for sex trafficking weeks before Super Bowl LV in Tampa pleaded guilty, according to U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg.

Henry White, 27, of Orlando, "pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion and to possessing ammunition as a convicted a felon," a year after being arrested during an undercover operation by Tampa Bay’s Human Trafficking Task Force on Jan. 7, 2021.

The task force conducted multiple undercover operations in local hotels leading up to the Super Bowl, with the goal of rescuing victims.

I-Team human trafficking coverage

White, per the plea agreement, was sex trafficking a 20-year-old throughout central Florida and Georgia from June 2020 to Jan. 2021. During that time, he used threats of violence and physical violence to control the 20-year-old victim.

The victim, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, at some point of being sex trafficked called, "law enforcement and a local non-governmental organization for assistance."

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During an undercover operation, which ABC Action News I-Team was at, the victim was rescued by officers.

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"At the time Victim 1 was recovered by law enforcement officers, she had an injury on her left knee that she sustained after White had thrown her to the ground in a hotel."

When detectives arrested White that night they found a loaded handgun in his vehicle.

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White faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years, and up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 15, 2022.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.

If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or suspect an adult is a victim of human trafficking, please visit the National Human Trafficking Hotline or call 1-888-373-7888. If you suspect a child is a victim, please call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.