Trafficking in persons

United States v Victor Nikolayevich Virchenko

Fact Summary

Defendant Victor Nikolayevich Virchenko is a Russian national who was involved in a human trafficking scheme. Defendant Virckenko, along with his co-defendants Pavel Agafonov, a naturalized US citizen, and Tony Kennard, a US citizen, trafficked women and minor girls from Russia into Alaska to dance nude in strip clubs. The victims, nine young female Russian folk dancers, were told they would be participating in folk shows across the US. When they arrived in the US, however, Defendants took their passports and return tickets and forced them to dance nude at strip clubs. The Russian victims were brought into the US in December 2000 and were freed by the INS in January 2001. Defendant Virchenko was arrested at the Anchorage International Airport. Only Kennard appealed his guilty plea.

Commentary and Significant Features

This is the first case tried under the U.S.'s TVPA.

Sentence Date:
2001-09-25
Author:
Human Trafficking Database of the University of Michigan Law School

Keywords

Acts:
Recruitment
Transportation
Means:
Threat or use of force or other forms of coercion
Deception
Purpose of Exploitation:
Exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation
Form of Trafficking:
Transnational
Sector in which exploitation takes place:
Commercial sexual exploitation

Victims / Plaintiffs in the first instance

Victim:
9+ individuals
Gender:
Female
Nationality:
Russian

Defendants / Respondents in the first instance

Defendant:
Victor Nikolayevich Virchenko
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
Russian
Legal Reasoning:

Vichenko pled guilty to the immigration fraud and transportation of minor charges.

Defendant:
Tony Allen Kennard
Gender:
Male
Legal Reasoning:

Kennard pled guilty to the visa fraud and transportation of minors for illegal activity charges and was sentenced accordingly.

Defendant:
Pavel Vasilievich Paris Agafonov
Gender:
Male
Legal Reasoning:

Agafonov pled guilty to visa fraud and transportation of minors.

Charges / Claims / Decisions

Defendant:
Victor Nikolayevich Virchenko
Verdict:
Guilty
Charge / Claim:
Immigration Fraud
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USCS 1546

Verdict:
Guilty
Charge / Claim:
Transporting Minors for Illegal Sexual Activity
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 2421

Verdict:
Withdrawn
Charge / Claim:
Kidnapping
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 1201 & 1202

Verdict:
Withdrawn
Charge / Claim:
Forced Labor
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 1589 & 2

Term of Imprisonment:
2 years 6 Months
 
then deportation
Fine / Payment to State:
Yes  100  USD  (Up to 10,000 USD) Special Assessment  
Defendant:
Tony Allen Kennard
Verdict:
Guilty
Charge / Claim:
Transporting Minors for Illegal Sexual Activity
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 2423(a) & 2

Verdict:
Withdrawn
Charge / Claim:
Conspiracy
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 371

Verdict:
Guilty
Charge / Claim:
Visa Fraud
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 1546(a) & 2

Verdict:
Withdrawn
Charge / Claim:
Kidnapping
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 1201 & 2

Verdict:
Withdrawn
Charge / Claim:
Forced Labor
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 1589 & 2

Term of Imprisonment:
3 years 10 Months
Fine / Payment to State:
Yes  800  USD  (Up to 10,000 USD) Special Assessment  
Appellate Decision:
Upheld

2nd Instance citation: 46 Fed. Appx. 426

Kennard appealed, claiming his guilty plea was not valid as it was not made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently as required by U.S. law. However, the appellate court disagreed and upheld his conviction and sentence.

Defendant:
Pavel Vasilievich Paris Agafonov
Term of Imprisonment:
1 year 6 Months
Fine / Payment to State:
No      (Up to 10,000 USD)  

Court

U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska

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