Local Naval officer sentenced to 2 years in prison for sex trafficking charge in Henrico Co

Charles Cranston Jr.
Posted at 10:04 PM, Jun 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-26 22:27:32-04

HENRICO CO., Va. -A Hampton Roads-based Naval officer was sentenced after pleading guilty to sex trafficking with intent to receive money.

Authorities arrested Lt. Cmdr. Charles Cranston Jr. last November at a Norfolk base and charged him with commercial sex trafficking. At the time of his arrest, Navy officials told News 3 that Cranston, 47, was assigned to U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

At a sentencing hearing Friday in Henrico Circuit Court, Cranston received a ten-year sentence with eight years suspended, leaving two years to serve. Cranston will receive credit for time served since his arrest in November 2021.

A ten-year period of supervised probation will begin upon his release.

Prosecutors said it all started on November 2, 2021, when Henrico County Police's VICE team posted an ad targeting potential sex trafficking.

A detective got a response from Cranston after the ad was posted.

Prosecutors went on to say there were texts from Cranston, using an alias of “Tony,” agreeing to split the costs of a hotel room with the prostitute, and discussing what would take place.

Cranston, according to prosecutors, also told the undercover detective posing as a prostitute he had a studio and OnlyFans website to help make money.

Prosecutors added that Cranston, in a phone call, expressed wanting to help further the prostitute's career, and eventually posted an ad on behalf of the prostitute which got more than a dozen responses.

Prosecutors said during the hearing Cranston was arrested with the help of Chesapeake Police and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)

Cranston was with the Navy for 27 years and has lived in Virginia since September 2019. He's been in Chesapeake since April 2020 with his family.

Cranston remains behind bars at Henrico County Jail, with a listed release date of November 7, 2023.