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Jury convicts man of pimping in Kent
A 34-year-old man faces a prison sentence of 20 to 26 years after a King County Superior Court jury convicted him of promoting prostitution and other charges for his work as a pimp in Kent and Seattle.
After a five-week trial in Kent, the jury convicted Shacon Barbee, of Seattle, on Sept. 18 of the following charges, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office:
• Two counts of promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor
• Two counts of second-degree promoting prostitution
• One count of leading organized crime
• Two counts of first-degree theft
• One count of second-degree theft
Sentencing is set for 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 before Judge Patrick Oishi. The standard sentence range is 20 to 26 1/2 years in prison, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Kent Police arrested Barbee in December 2010. He reportedly made nearly $200,000 in eight months as a pimp in Kent and Seattle, according to charging papers. He has remained in custody since his arrest at the county jail at the Maleng Regional Justice Center with bail set at $500,000.
A then 19-year-old prostitute told detectives that she earned about $2,000 per week mainly from working along Pacific Highway South in Kent and Denny Way in Seattle. She gave all of that money to Barbee.
"Based on those figures, if (she) earned $2,000 a week, she alone would have given Barbee approximately $64,000 in the eight months she worked for him," detectives wrote in the charging documents. "If Barbee had two other females working for him at that time, he would have taken in about $192,000. This is a very modest estimate. This number is based on figures that other girls, who were posting (ads) online, only earned $2,000 each week. (She) believed they earned far more than that."
The theft charges were in connection with wrongfully obtaining money from the Social Security Administration.
Barbee started pimping in January 2007 and had more than 40 women who worked for him, according to charging papers. Barbee pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
The case against Barbee broke when Kent detectives arrested him Dec. 3, 2010 in the 6000 block of South 212th Street for investigation of commercial sexual abuse of a minor and promoting prostitution.
A special investigations unit of the Kent Police conducted a prostitution sting at the Hampton Inn, 21109 66th Ave. S. An undercover officer responded to an online ad to hire an escort at www.backpage.com, a popular website where prostitutes are known to advertise their services, according to charging documents.
Officers recognized the girl in the online ad because she had been contacted in March 2010 during a prostitution investigation in Kent. Officers knew she was just 17 years old. They also knew through cellphone numbers that the girl had connections to Barbee.
An undercover officer rented a hotel room and responded to the ad for the girl to come to the room as an escort at a cost of $150 for 30 minutes. The girl agreed to the deal.
Detectives outside the hotel reportedly spotted Barbee drive the girl to the hotel entrance in a Toyota Avalon and drop her off.
As one undercover officer waited for the girl inside the room, two other officers hid in the room's closet. Once the girl agreed to accept cash from the undercover officer in return for sex, the two officers emerged from the closet and arrested the girl for investigation of prostitution.
After Barbee had dropped off the girl, he waited in his vehicle in a parking lot near the hotel. After the prostitution arrest of the girl inside the hotel, officers approached his vehicle in unmarked cars when Barbee started to drive way. They followed him westbound on South 212th Street and eventually pulled him over at the KOA Campground and arrested him for investigation of promoting prostitution.
Barbee waived his right to a speedy trial. Defense attorney Brian Todd requested continuances several times for more time to interview witnesses and law enforcement officials. He had an initial trial date in September 2011.