Jason “King Ace” Wagner (Generic Walgreens photo from Associated Press; Mug shot from Florida Department of Corrections)
A Miami gang member authorities described as a manipulative and violent pimp, caught after one of his victims tossed a note out of a car to a Walgreens customer saying to call the police, was sentenced to decades in prison.
Jason “King Ace” Wagner, 41, a member of the Latin Kings, will serve 380 months in federal prison after his conviction in October for two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; obstruction of sex trafficking enforcement; and use of interstate facilities in aid of racketeering, authorities said in a news release.
Wagner forced several women to engage in commercial sex as early as 2003, locking them up in his apartments, taking their IDs, and subjecting them to violence, threats, and drugs, authorities said.
In a sentencing memo arguing for a maximum of 40 years in prison, prosecutors said he targeted his victims based on their vulnerabilities and had a “callous indifference” to the harm he caused them. Officials said the only time he hadn’t profited from the sexual exploitation of women in the last 20 years was while he was imprisoned for kidnapping and beating one of his many victims — Victim B, the documents said.
He was undeterred by his incarceration and began trafficking Victim 2 and promoting the prostitution of several other women while on conditional supervised release, court documents said.
Victim C was “sold” to Wagner when she was 17 after arriving in Miami on a trip with several acquaintances. She described how he forced her to have sex with him and then had her engage in commercial sex with men even though she told him she was a minor, court documents said.
He picked up Victim B — a 15-year-old runaway — off a street, developed a sexual relationship with her, and forced her to work in strip clubs and engage in commercial sex. She testified he regularly beat her, as well as raped and impregnated her. She said he struck her while she was pregnant, forcing her to go into labor early and give birth to a boy who died in the hospital. After the baby died, Wagner deleted photos of the child, “erasing the only memories she had of him,” court documents said.
Victim 2 testified that despite Wagner being aware that she was sexually abused as a child and struggled with substance abuse as an adult, he trafficked her in 2021. He provided her with drugs multiple times a day, even after she had recently completed a drug rehabilitation program, court documents said.
Victim 3 testified he offered her a place to stay when she was 19, jobless, and getting evicted. Once with him, he forced her to engage in commercial sex, keeping her locked in his one-room apartment. When she escaped, he found her, slapped her, and took her money.
An affidavit spells out how Wagner was caught on March 17, 2022, after a heads-up customer at Walgreens in Miami told authorities she was walking by a vehicle when the victim tossed out a note. The customer called the police and Wagner was arrested.
Wagner had been holding the victim at a house in Miami since June 2021, forcing her to charge clients at least $500 for sex so he could pay rent.
She was not allowed to leave the house unless she was going to meet a client for sex and was physically unable to leave. The windows in her room were screwed shut. The door had a deadbolt that could only be opened with a key only Wagner could access. The front door had a locked security gate. In a locked box, he kept her birth certificate and Social Security and insurance cards.
He provided her with drugs but would withhold them if she refused to engage in commercial sex. If she did not make the amount of money he required, he would punch her in the head and choke her, the affidavit said.
“The victim stated that Wagner had choked her several times to the point that she had ‘blacked out,’ including the night before,” the affidavit said. “In fact, the victim told law enforcement that he had battered her the night before because she did not want to follow his instructions during a commercial sex act.”
He told her to keep her phone on during the commercial sex act so he could listen, court documents said. She initially refused but eventually complied and got hit on the head and choked for her delay.
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