For example, take the case of James Joseph, Jr. aka “Spyder.” He was arrested in 2009 in Missouri, after a woman in his company told police that he had taken her identification, she was unable to leave, and she and other women were told by him to engage in prostitution. Despite the allegations of sex trafficking, as part of a plea deal, a federal judge in Missouri sentenced him to ten months in jail for possessing a fake ID.
After Joseph took the plea deal, a probation officer realized he had an active warrant out of New York for assault against a woman named Natasha. Natasha alleged that in 2001 she was physically kidnapped, assaulted, raped and told that if she ever wanted to see her family again, she’d have to start having sex for money. She made her escape in New York, after being told she was going to be taken to China to be sold for sex.
New York authorities were notified that Joseph was in custody in Missouri, but they declined to extradite him. He was placed on federal probation and moved to Southern California, until America’s Most Wanted featured Natasha’s story. After being contacted by America’s Most Wanted producers, U.S. Marshalls took Joseph into custody for the alleged crimes in New York, while cameras rolled. Again, despite the violence and severity of the sex trafficking allegations, he took a plea deal in New York and was sentenced to less than 18 months in jail.