Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 18, 2015

Local sex trafficker sentenced to 210 months in federal prison

On Dec. 3, John Harper Farmer, 40, of Chattanooga, was sentenced by the Honorable Curtis L. Collier, U.S. District Judge, to serve 210 months in federal prison for sex trafficking of children. Farmer was also ordered to complete a 500 hour mental health program. Additionally, upon his release from prison, he will be supervised for five years by U.S. Probation.

Farmer pleaded guilty in May to one count of a five-count indictment charging offenses related to sex trafficking. This offense carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. He admitted to directing a minor and an adult co-defendant to meet a client at a Chattanooga hotel with the expectation that both females would engage in a commercial sex act. However, the client turned out to be an undercover police officer, and the encounter resulted in Farmer’s arrest and prosecution. Upon his arrest, police officers recovered a second minor with Farmer. Farmer’s co-defendant is scheduled for sentencing in March 2016.

FBI Special Agent in Charge, Edward W. Reinhold, said, “This investigation is but one example of the close working relationship the FBI enjoys with our law enforcement partners in combating the ever increasing threats to our nation. Human Trafficking represents some of the worst in human behavior, especially when it deals with the most vulnerable of our society, our children. The FBI, along with our local, state, and federal partners will continue to aggressively attack this problem.”

Special Agent in Charge of HSI New Orleans, Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., said, “Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that Homeland Security Investigations fights as one of its highest priorities via a coordinated global effort with the FBI and our state and local law enforcement partners. That this particular criminal took his depravity even further to sexually exploit children for profit makes this case especially egregious, and illustrates why HSI will continue to investigate and seek prosecution of these criminals while also ensuring the victims of this terrible crime are rescued and get the care they need.” Parmer oversees a five-state area of operations to include Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Chattanooga Police Department. Assistant U.S Attorney Jay Woods represented the United States.

Source: Department of Justice