Two truck drivers from Missouri — one a registered sex offender — have been indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Kansas City Division on charges of sex trafficking of a child.
Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said Eugene Wardlow, 54, of St. Joseph, MO, and Thomas Farrell, 48, of DeKalb, MO, were charged in a six-count indictment.
Wardlow is a registered sex offender who was convicted in Nodaway County, MO, of sexual misconduct involving a minor and endangering the welfare of a child. Wardlow is self-employed as a commercial truck driver, doing business as Prideco LLC. Farrell is also self-employed as a commercial truck driver, doing business as Farrell Trucking & Hay LLC.
The federal indictment alleges that Wardlow and Farrell caused a child victim (identified as “CV”) to engage in prostitution between Aug. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2011. The truckers are both also charged with transporting a minor across state lines from Missouri to Texas to engage in prostitution. Wardlow is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
In a motion filed with the court, the government seeks to hold Wardlow in federal custody without bond. The motion states that Wardlow is charged with multiple offenses for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment. Wardlow’s prior sex conviction, in which the victim was a minor, may result in a mandatory life sentence.
According to a detention motion, Wardlow had repeated sexual intercourse with the child victim. The victim informed law enforcement that Wardlow injured her on multiple occasions, either during or separate from their sexual activity. Beyond the physical injuries, the motion says, Wardlow often violently threatened the child in an effort to keep her from ever going to the authorities, including the threat of death. Wardlow allegedly pointed out rivers as he transported the victim across the country and told her that if she ever told law enforcement, he would dump her body in those rivers.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Daly. It was investigated by the FBI; the Prairie Village, Kansas Police Department; the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department; the U.S. Department of Transportation; the Missouri State Highway Patrol; and the Overland Park, Kansas Police Department, in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.