An Iowa City man and native of Zambia was sentenced on October 26 to 22 years in federal prison for conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion and felon in possession of a firearm.

Following his imprisonment, Kachimbe Mukanzu, also known as Kash, was ordered to serve five years of supervised release. According to court documents, Mukanzu, age 35, recruited young women and sexually exploited them by force, fraud and coercion. He helped post advertisements through Backpage and other sites where he would set up profiles for the victims, advertising sex acts for money. Mukanzu promised the victims things of value and glamorized the lifestyle to entice them into performing commercial sex acts and in return he profited. Mukanzu provided the victims with drugs so they could work around the clock. On multiple occasions in 2018, he drove the victims to different states for the purpose of sex trafficking. On February 4, 2022, Mukanzu pleaded guilty to the charges.

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Iowa City Police Department investigated the case. Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of youth under the age of 18 for commercial sex; the exploitation of adults for commercial sex using force, fraud, or coercion; and the exploitation of any individual for compelled labor. Human trafficking does not mean transporting individuals across state lines, or that someone is physically restrained. Signs that a person is being trafficked can include working excessively long hours, unexplained gifts, physical injury, substance abuse issues, running away from home, isolation from others or having a person in their life controlling them or monitoring them closely. Victims who are particularly susceptible to being trafficked include those with criminal histories, a history of physical or sexual abuse, uncertain legal status and a dependency on controlled substances. Individuals who purchase sex from minors or from those who are otherwise exploited for commercial sex are also subject to prosecution for sex trafficking under federal law, if they knew or were in reckless disregard of the fact that they were under the age of 18 or that force, fraud or coercion was used.

Anyone who has information about human trafficking should call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found by clicking here.