A federal grand jury in the District of Delaware returned an indictment charging a Delaware man and woman with sex trafficking, labor trafficking and related charges. The defendants are charged with aiding and abetting one another in committing sex trafficking and forced labor trafficking against 13 victims.
The indictment alleges that from 2014 through 2020, Clifton H. Gibbs, 66, and Brooke D. Waters, 44, of Lewes, recruited, harbored, transported and compelled nine victims to engage in commercial sex acts under the threat that they would suffer serious harm if they did not comply. The indictment further alleges that from 2016 through 2020, Gibbs and Waters obtained the labor and services of six victims under the threat of suffering serious harm if they did not comply. Finally, the indictment alleges that Gibbs and Waters transported three victims across state lines for the purpose of criminal sexual activity.
The sex trafficking charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment. The forced labor charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The interstate transportation for the purposes of criminal sexual activity charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss for the District of Delaware, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge William S. Walker of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia and Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of HSI Baltimore made the announcement. The Delaware State Police, led by Colonel Melissa Zebley, provided valuable assistance in the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Briana Knox for the District of Delaware, Trial Attorney Rebekah J. Bailey of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and Trial Attorney Caylee Campbell of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Senior Financial Investigator Kathryn Montemorra of the Money Laundering Section’s Special Financial Investigations Unit.
Anyone who believes that they may have been a victim of this case or may have relevant information to share is asked to call the HSI tip line at 866-DHS-2423.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.