DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa man was found guilty of three counts of child sex trafficking and two counts of distributing methamphetamine to children, among a lengthy list of additional charges, according to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa.
Following a six-day trial, on Jan. 28, a jury found Kendall Andrew Streb, of Hills, Iowa, guilty of three counts of child sex trafficking, two counts of distributing methamphetamine to children, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine to children, one count of possession of a firearm and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum announced.
Human trafficking doesn't require the transportation of individuals across state lines, nor does is require that a person is physically restrained. Human trafficking is defined as a crime involving the exploitation of youth under the age of 18 for commercial sex; the exploitation of adults for commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion; and the exploitation of any individual for compelled labor.
During trial, the government presented evidence Streb trafficked three teenagers in Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from November 2018 through February 2019.
Streb solicited the three minors, ages 15 through 17, then paid them in cash and methamphetamine in exchange for sex acts.
At times, Streb transported the teenagers to hotel rooms, where he engaged in "commercial sex acts" with them.
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"The evidence proved Streb knew one or more girls was under 18 years old, and otherwise was in reckless disregard of the fact they were under the age of 18," stated the press release.
On March 26, 2019, a search warrant was executed at Streb's residence and truck, in which law enforcement discovered methamphetamine and two handguns. They also found evidence of drug trafficking, which included methamphetamine packaged for sale, a digital scale and packaging materials.
"Let's be clear: if you pay money or provide drugs in exchange for sex with underage girls, you are a sex trafficker. We will prosecute you and send you to federal prison," said Krickbaum. "The U.S. Attorney's Office is grateful to the law enforcement officers, particularly those from the Iowa City Police Department, who brought Kendall Streb to justice."
United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose presided over the case. A sentencing hearing will be set at a later date.
Sex trafficking of a child is punishable by a minimum of ten years' imprisonment, up to life in prison.
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.
Anyone who suspects human trafficking is occurring, be it a minor engaging in paid sex acts, or anyone being coerced into prostitution or labor, is urged to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
The case was investigated by the Iowa City Police Department, with asistance from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Coralville Police Department. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa.