The online advertisement said a sex slave “needs breaking.”
Billie Joe Sanford, 37, replied and said he was up to the task, according to a federal complaint.
During an ensuing exchange between Sanford and the human trafficker, the Henderson County man described his torture methods. He would cage her, flog her, blast heavy metal music in her ears and use shock therapy, the complaint said. Sanford said he’d done similar work for sex traffickers in other states.
For $5,000 per week, Sanford said he could break the victim if allowed to work uninterrupted in an isolated location, authorities say. Even if the victim did manage to reach police, it would be useless because she “won’t know how long she has been there. She won’t know what day it is,” Sanford said.
The sex trafficker, however, turned out to be an undercover federal agent. And when Sanford met him at a Dallas warehouse on Nov. 5 to begin the torture, he was arrested and charged with attempting to aid and abet sex trafficking, federal court records say.
Sanford, a convicted felon who lives about an hour southeast of Dallas, is being held in federal custody pending a detention hearing. His attorney could not be reached. Sanford, a former Dallas resident, was convicted of check forgery in 2010 in Dallas County and sentenced to 180 days in jail, court records show.
Texas ranks second in human trafficking, behind California, and North Texas has in recent years become a hotspot for the sex trafficking of children and adults. Authorities have formed a North Texas Trafficking Task Force to crack down on the problem. And the Dallas Police Department is revamping its vice unit so that it can focus on arresting pimps and traffickers while also working to help women being sold for sex.
The 24-page federal criminal complaint filed on Friday details the undercover sting operation that resulted in Sanford’s arrest by Homeland Security Investigations. It includes transcripts of numerous alleged text messages from Sanford.
Communications between Sanford and the undercover agent occurred between Oct. 9 and Nov. 5 via a messaging app and text messages as well as in person, the complaint said.
The investigation began when the advertisement was placed on the unnamed website on Oct 9. It said: “Three months and she won’t break. Don’t want to lose my investment but at this point I’m done. Dominance is not my thing… If you break her I will buy her back.”
With the username, “MasterBill75751,” Sanford responded, asking if she still needed breaking, the complaint said.
“I am willing to help break her into a proper slave,” he said. “When are you wanting to start?”
Sanford detailed his requirements, investigators say.
“I need a big enough space to train her in complete privacy,” he said in a text. “Prefer something where there are not neighbors close by… I need to know when and where she will be kept so I can start ASAP.”
The undercover agent said the woman could not be trusted not to try to escape.
“If you want her broken in 7 days, I will need complete access with no disruption,” Sanford texted.
A private location was needed, he said, so he wouldn’t have to worry about “people hearing her.” Sanford asked if there were any spots on her body the trafficker didn’t want “marked,” the complaint said. He also said he guaranteed his work and had “never failed to break a woman to know what her purpose is,” the report shows.
Sanford met the undercover agent on Oct. 29 in The Colony where the two continued to discuss the plot, according to the complaint.
The agent told Sanford he was the head of a human trafficking organization and had purchased the victim from a different trafficker and was going to “make a fortune” selling her to clients, the complaint said. The agent told Sanford the victim had tried to escape and contact law enforcement so he had to keep her locked in a bathroom day and night.
“Sanford then offered to implant a GPS tracking device in the victim’s leg,” the complaint said.
In the complaint, Sanford detailed how he would torture the victim, saying he would keep her in a cage with “restrained hands and feet.”
He would place “black out contacts” in her eyes to confuse her so “she will not even know when time ends or begins.”
He would employ “shock therapy” and then asked about the availability of electrical outlets. If she disobeyed, he would blast heavy metal music in her ears. He “described a series of flogs and whips made of leather, chain and plastic,” and he mentioned “paddles lined with thumbtacks or needles.”
Sanford reassured the agent that while the torture weapon would cut the victim, they would not cause permanent scarring that “could affect her later sale.” He also said he knew from his training as a certified nursing assistant where the body’s most sensitive areas are located and where “the worst nerve endings are to mess with,” according to the complaint.
Sanford said it would take him a week or more to force the victim’s obedience but that the agent could see some results within three days, authorities said.
“You want her to believe that whenever she leaves her job, if she does not report back to you she is going back to Bill,” he said. “And he will make it worse than the last time.”
On Nov. 2, Sanford allegedly told the undercover agent that the victim would need 500 calories per day for a week. Government dietary guidelines say an adult woman needs between 1,600 and 2,400 daily calories.
Members of the North Texas Trafficking Task Force conducted surveillance on Sanford. On the night of Nov. 5 when Sanford arrived at the Dallas warehouse where the victim was said to be kept, he took a white bag and black suitcase inside. Sanford was arrested inside the warehouse and was taken to the Dallas County jail, court records show.
At the jail, sheriff’s deputies found that Sanford had been wearing a roughly 10-inch synthetic penis “enlarger sleeve,” the complaint said. He did not answer questions about it.
Sanford told investigators he had been in the “kink” lifestyle for years after being introduced to it while serving in Germany with the U.S. Army. He described it as a “consenting adult lifestyle of submission and domination.”
And he said he agreed to the torture plot because he “needed the money after experiencing financial difficulty,” the complaint said.