RALEIGH, N.C. – A Smithfield man was sentenced today to three consecutive life sentences in prison for human trafficking involving a minors.
48-year-old Jonathan Lynn Jenkins was sentenced for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion and of a minor; sex trafficking by force fraud and coercion; sex trafficking of a minor; using the internet to promote a prostitution business enterprise (ITAR); and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
He was convicted on March 1 by a jury. Jenkins was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of at least $418,361.70.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Jenkins, aka “Max,” and his co-conspirator prostituted many women between November 2014 and October 2015, including minors.
Documents say the victims were young, vulnerable, and often struggling to survive.
Officials say after luring the victims with promises of food, shelter, and a better life, Jenkins and his co-conspirator manipulated and controlled the victim’s lives, isolating them, withholding food, and keeping all money the victims earned.
Court documents say Jenkins beat and choked the victims, sometimes to unconsciousness, and emotionally and psychologically abused them. They say he claimed to have magical powers that allowed him to hunt down victims and kill them. Officials say he even attempted to murder a man who helped one victim escape.
N.C. Judge Dever said Jenkins is “an extraordinarily dangerous human being” and his crimes as a “form of modern-day slavery.”
Jenkins was convicted of second-degree murder in North Carolina state court in 2006, and first-degree murder charges are pending against him in state court in Johnston County, North Carolina.