Johnta Silverburg, 31, of Plano, Texas, received 40 years in prison for Continuous Trafficking of Persons, announced
Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.
“Silverburg targeted and exploited a vulnerable woman for his own financial gain. Sex trafficking won’t be tolerated in Collin County, and my office will continue to work closely with law enforcement to arrest and prosecute these predators,” said Willis.
Silverburg met his victim online in 2011 and forced her to work for him as a prostitute. Up to his arrest in 2015, he acted as her pimp and subjected her to threats and multiple assaults. The victim testified that she was only allowed to leave home to work as a prostitute and had limited access to money.
A search of the house where the victim and Silverburg lived revealed that Silverburg maintained control of the victim’s driver’s license and social security card, as well as thousands of dollars in cash.
Police were alerted when a second victim of Silverburg’s was found after a local shelter called about a 17-year-old with possible ties to human trafficking. Texas Department of Public Safety agents Colby Langford and Clay Platt led the investigation which resulted in Silverburg’s conviction.
The jury convicted Silverburg of Continuous Trafficking of Persons and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Criminal District Attorneys
Thomas Ashworth and
Ashley Briggs. They were aided by District Attorney Investigator
Laurie Gibbs. The case was investigated by agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Human Trafficking Task Force based in Garland. Judge
David Waddill presided over the case.