BILLINGS — Two Billings men accused of crimes stemming from an investigation into sex trafficking, drug distribution and firearms violations have been arraigned on charges in a multi-count indictment, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said in a press release.
William Maurice Newkirk, 39, pleaded not guilty Friday to 15 counts, while co-defendant Djavon Lamont King, 29, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to six counts. Newkirk and King are detained pending further proceedings.
If convicted of the most serious crime, Newkirk and King face a mandatory minimum 15 years to life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to a lifetime of supervised release.
The indictment charges Newkirk with 15 counts, including four counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, transportation of a person with intent to engage in prostitution, sex trafficking of a minor and by force, fraud and coercion, sex trafficking of a minor, attempted sex trafficking of a minor, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, two counts of distribution of cocaine to person under the age of 21, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and two counts of prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
The indictment charges King with six counts, including two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine to a person under the age of 21.
The indictment alleges that from about 2018 through 2019, the defendants became involved in commercial sex in Billings and the distribution of illegal narcotics. The indictment also alleges that Newkirk illegally possessed firearms during this time.