Minneapolis man sentenced to more than 20 years for sex trafficking of two minors

Friday,

A Minneapolis man was sentenced to more than 23 years in prison for sex trafficking two 15-year-old girls, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Brendian Kewon Daniels, 38, pleaded guilty on Sept.17 to two counts of promoting prostitution of victims under 18. On Monday, Judge Martha Holton Dimick sentenced Daniels to 240 months in prison for count one. She also sentenced him to 45 months for count two to be served consecutively. He received 225 days for time already served.

“We are pleased with Judge Holton Dimick’s sentencing. Mr. Daniels was the ring leader of this operation and his behavior was appalling,” said Freeman. “This was a terrible case. It was bad enough that he victimized minors but he also had a 15-year-old girl recruit one of her friends.”

In court Monday afternoon, the mother of one of the victims gave an impact statement and said “My daughter was 15, a straight A student… She was vulnerable and [Daniels] took advantage.”

According to the criminal complaint, in August 2017, police in Brooklyn Park and Minneapolis began investigating sex trafficking of underage girls. Daniels and co-defendant Raphael Landon Powell were identified as suspects in trafficking numerous underage victims.

On October 19, 2017, investigators attempted to interview a 15-year-old girl, “Victim 1,” at a hospital in Minneapolis. She was a runaway. She told investigators she had been with Daniels and Powell among others, and identified photos of both men, but was reluctant to speak to the officers. She ultimately made a phone call from the hospital to a phone number known to be one Daniels used and she fled to a waiting car.

Five days later, investigators spoke to another 15-year-old, “Victim 2,” after she returned home from being on the run. She reported that she had been with the first victim and a woman named “Lanesha” and another underage girl, “Witness 1.”

On October 27, 2017, investigators went to a Brooklyn Park apartment described by Victim 2.  Officers found Witness 1, who was identified as a missing child. She told investigators that Victim 1 and Lanesha were staying at the apartment. Witness 1 also said that Victim 1 and Lanesha would post ads for sex and go on “dates,” including “car dates” which took place in the parking lot of the apartment complex. Witness 1 said that Victim 1 would give the money she made to Daniels and Lanesha would give the money she made to Powell.

On December 15, 2017, an investigator interviewed Victim 2 a second time. She said that she had known Victim 1 in middle school and connected with her during the past summer. She said she went with Victim 1 to an apartment where she had sex with Powell.

In March, an investigator met with Victim 1 and her mother. Victim 1 was reluctant to answer questions so the investigators left written questions for her.  Victim 1’s mother emailed her daughter’s response: “Buddha [Daniels] told me what to do.” In response to whether she had sex for money or other things, Victim 1 said “Yes, it was how I was told I have to live.” When asked if she was directed to recruit other girls, Victim 1 replied, “Yes, Buddha told me to hit my friends up so they can make him some money.”

On March 25, law enforcement took Victim 2 into custody after she ran away from home and was stopped by the State Patrol in a car with two older males. She was taken to a hospital where an investigator spoke to her the next day. She said she had been with Daniels, Powell and Lanesha for the previous week at a motel in Brooklyn Center. Victim 2 admitted that she had placed a profile on a social networking application to obtain “dates” and make money.

Daniels has a significant criminal history in Illinois, including six felony convictions.

Powell was sentenced on December 3 to 91 months in prison for one count of promoting prostitution.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)