A Sparta man who forced three heroin addicts to work as prostitutes will serve 25 years in federal prison.
Monta Groce, 30, also will serve 20 years on supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Madison.
Groce from late 2012 to 2013 convinced the victims to prostitute for his profit by providing them with heroin. As their addictions grew, Groce used violence or threatened to withhold heroin if they refused to prostitute or kept profits. He advertised the victims online and paid other addicts to drive them around Wisconsin and Minnesota to work.
The first victim testified at trial that Groce forced her to prostitute before supplying her with heroin and burned her face with a cigarette when she kept money from him. She escaped his control with the help of another woman, but, in April 2014, Groce beat her for cooperating with police.
The second woman told jurors that Groce threatened her with a gun when she refused a prostitution assignment, according to the attorney’s office. He threw her into a bathtub when she used his bed with a prostitution customer.
A third victim testified she worked as a prostitute for Groce because she feared heroin withdrawal.
The jury in July convicted Groce of three counts of sex trafficking by force, threats or coercion, conspiracy to engage in interstate transportation for prostitution, interstate transportation for prostitution, maintaining a property for drug trafficking, using a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and witness retaliation.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Milwaukee Division, the Sparta Police Department and the Monroe County Joint Investigative Task Force.
“Groce beat, tormented and enslaved vulnerable young women struggling with heroin addiction,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “He treated them as sex slaves rather than human beings, and his unconscionable actions offend the most basic standards of human decency. Nothing can undo the harm Groce inflicted or the pain he caused, but hopefully this sentence provides some measure of closure and relief for the victims.”