CASE UPDATE: Lancaster Human Trafficker Sentenced to Up To 141 Years

August 13, 2020 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG―Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that Barry Schiff was sentenced to 55-141 years in prison on charges of human trafficking and related offenses.

“Schiff deliberately chose vulnerable victims—women and girls who were marginalized members of their communities– and sexually, physically, and emotionally abused them. These women and girls endured dehumanizing exploitation by countless people. Today, justice was served for these survivors,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “Schiff will spend the rest of his life behind bars, unable to hurt any other women or cause the trauma jurors heard about during the testimony of the brave women who stood up to tell their stories.”

Schiff and his co-defendant, Kenneth Crowell, were charged by the Pennsylvania State Police in November 2017 for operating a human trafficking organization in Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York counties as well as southern New Jersey from 2014 to 2017. Schiff and Crowell were each convicted of multiple counts of Involuntary Servitude, Trafficking of Persons, Corrupt Organizations and related offenses after a lengthy trial in November of last year.

Barry Schiff and Kenneth Crowell headed a criminal organization engaged in human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking of young women. The Crowell/Schiff sex trafficking organization promoted the acts of prostitution by advertising on Backpage and Eros under the name “Adriana’s Angels.”

Schiff and Crowell regularly preyed upon and recruited vulnerable young women by luring them with promises of money, protection and drugs. Many of the victims were drug addicted and Schiff used opioids to control them by restricting their access to these drugs causing them to become “drug sick.” Eight of the survivors testified at trial about the sexual, physical and emotional abuse suffered directly and indirectly at the hands of the defendants.

One victim testified that, after Schiff got her addicted to heroin, he used debt from a bail payment to manipulate her and force her into trafficking. She told the court that she was afraid to leave because Schiff told her that “he would make one phone call and my family as well as me would disappear.” 

Another victim testified that she was not living with Schiff, she was living in her car. When she tried to leave Schiff’s control, he took her keys so she couldn’t escape. He threatened her, she said, telling her “I know where your children sleep at night, and I will have my Dominicans chop you up and throw you in the river.”  

“No one should ever be victimized by the kind of brutality and violence that happened in this case,” Attorney General Shapiro concluded. “I’m grateful to the many survivors who came forward and shared their stories to make this sentencing possible.”

Attorney General Josh Shapiro would also like to thank Northern York County Regional Police; Dallas, TX, police; Millville, NJ, police; the North Star Initiative of Lancaster; and the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program for their assistance in this investigation and prosecution.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather A. Castellino prosecuted the case.

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