A man who authorities say was involved in an international sex trafficking ring was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison Monday.
Michael Morris, 66 of Seal Beach, Calif., was sentenced in the U.S. District Court in St. Paul following his trial conviction in December 2018. Four others were also convicted in the 2018 trial. Morris was allegedly involved in a sex trafficking organization that coerced hundreds of Thai women to engage in commercial sex acts across the country, including Minneapolis, according to a news release.
Prior to Morris’ trial, 31 defendants pleaded guilty. To date, 29 defendants have been sentenced, the release said.
According to the release, the women were forced to participate in the scheme through promises of a better life in the United States and the opportunity to provide money to their families in Thailand.
Once they arrived in the United States, the women were sent to prostitution houses, including three that authorities say Morris ran in southern California. There, they were forced to have sex with strangers everyday, the release said.