A Bloods gang member from Kings Park was convicted by a jury on Tuesday of running a sex trafficking operation in Suffolk County from 2014 until 2018 in which he controlled his victims through drugs and threats of violence, officials said.
Abiodun “Abi” Adeleke, 33, was found guilty of multiple felony counts of sex trafficking; promoting prostitution, also a felony; and a misdemeanor assault charge, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini announced in a news release Wednesday.
Prosecutors said Adeleke kept victims under his control by giving them drugs, threatening violence and by creating debts they had to pay off, officials said. They said Adeleke forced women to perform sex for money at hotels and motels and on one occasion provided heroin to a women that caused a non-fatal overdose.
“With this conviction, justice was served and a dangerous individual will no longer be able to victimize women for his own personal gain,” Sini in a news release. “This conviction was the result of a tremendous amount of hard work by the prosecutors and investigators, as well as powerful testimony from brave survivors of Mr. Adeleke’s abuse. .”
An investigation by the Suffolk County Police Department’s Human Trafficking Investigations Unit and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office’s Human Trafficking Team discovered evidence that from January 2014 through August 2018, Adeleke was engaged in a sex trafficking operation throughout Suffolk County, officials said.
The investigation revealed evidence of several individuals believed to be victims of Adeleke. However, the jury trial pertained to two victims.
Adeleke’s attorney Chris Brocato said his client plans to appeal the verdict. Brocato said he had sympathy for the victims who testified, but said they had used drugs before they met Adeleke and after he was in jail.
“I don’t see how he forced them to become prostitutes by the use of a narcotics,” he said.
“Abiodun Adeleke preyed on the most vulnerable members of our communities,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said in a statement.
Adeleke was arrested at a Holiday Inn in Plainview on Aug. 31, 2018. The trial began Dec. 2 and the jury deliberated for about a day before returning a verdict Tuesday.
Adeleke is scheduled to be sentenced by Suffolk County Court Judge Timothy Mazzei on Jan. 16. He faces up to 25 years in prison.