John Henry Cyprian, a 33-year-old who goes by the nickname "Lucky," was arrested at his Auburn condo last month following a Bellevue Police Department investigation, according to federal prosecutors.
Investigators believe Cyprian forced two women to work as prostitutes out of hotel rooms in SeaTac, Bellevue, Mountlake Terrace, and Portland. They say he controlled the women with beatings and threats.
Prosecutors say Cyprian posted ads on Backpage.com and other adult sexual services websites and then kept all the money the women made as prostitutes.
"Traffickers prey upon vulnerable women -- convincing them that they have nowhere to go and even less value. It takes courage to break the bonds an abusive pimp uses to keep his victims under control," U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a news release. "We will continue to work closely with state prosecutors to ensure that violent sex traffickers cannot prey on the most vulnerable in our communities - whether they are juveniles or adults."
Cyprian was indicted in federal court Thursday on two counts of of sex trafficking through force, fraud, and coercion and two counts of transportation for the purpose of prostitution through coercion and enticement.
If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum term of 15 years and up to life in prison and at least five years and up to life of supervised release.