(WFRV) – A man from Beloit who was described by authorities as someone who targeted, exploited and preyed on vulnerable women was convicted of sex trafficking charges including one involving a minor.

According to officials, 50-year-old Cory Hereford from Beloit was convicted on multiple charges related to sex tracking both adults and minors. The jury reached a verdict after five hours of deliberations and a four-day trial.

Evidence showed that Hereford targeted vulnerable young women struggling with drug addiction, one of whom was 16-years-old, to engage in commercial sex. Hereford reportedly enticed the women by giving them access to heroin.

It was also mentioned that he would threaten to withhold the heroin to induce withdrawal sickness. This would compel the women to engage in prostitution for him. He also reportedly threatened physical violence.

Hereford was not alone in this operation, as his co-defendant, 30-year-old Tonyiel Partee, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking back in July 2021. Partee is from Janesville.

There was evidence presented that showed that Hereford maintained a home in Janesville for the purpose of distributing and using controlled substances. Specifically, those substances were heroin and cocaine.

“This defendant preyed on vulnerable members of our society – young women and girls addicted to drugs,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Hereford will be sentenced on May 12 and he faces the following penalties for his crimes:

  • Committing a crime involving a minor while a committed felon required to register as a sex offender
    • Minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life in prison and is required to be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the sex trafficking of a minor
  • Sex trafficking charge involving a minor
    • Mandatory minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life in federal prison
  • Maintaining a drug gouse
    • Maximum penalty of 20 years

“Mr. Hereford targeted and exploited young and vulnerable women, forcing them into commercial sex to generate income for him.  I commend the trial team, investigators, and victim advocates for their commitment and diligence,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy O’Shea of the Western District of Wisconsin. 

No additional information was provided, Local 5 will continue to update this story.