Military policeman in Afghanistan. Pimp in Charlotte, North Carolina
Those two sides of Xaver Boston crashed head-on this week in an uptown federal courtroom. There, the 29-year-old former Army Reservist was convicted of running a five-year, sex-trafficking ring that preyed on young, drug-addicted women.
Three of those women testified against Boston during his three-day trial. After seven hours of deliberations, Boston’s jury found him guilty of six counts of sex trafficking and one count of using an interstate facility to promote a prostitution enterprise, prosecutors say.
Boston, nicknamed “Romeo,” faces 15 years to life and a $250,000 fine for each trafficking conviction, and will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad at a later date. Boston remained in custody Friday at the Mecklenburg County Jail.
After the verdict, U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray described Boston as a predator “who ran a criminal enterprise that violated the most basic standards of human decency. ”
Boston, according to Murray, “preyed on and abused vulnerable young women ... and used violence and drugs to exert his control.”
According to court documents, Boston recruited women, including one teenager, who were struggling with addiction. He promised them heroin, hydrocodone and other drugs both to feed their habits and to control them.
When the women refused to follow his commands or not hand over what they had earned from having sex, Boston withheld their drugs and thrust them into the agonies of withdrawal, documents say.. He also choked, punched and slapped them. Once, according to prosecutors, Boston pistol-whipped one of his women and broke her nose.
Boston began operations in 2012 and shut down the ring only once — in 2016 when he was deployed to Afghanistan to join the security detail of a U.S. major general stationed in Kabul, documents say.
Shortly after returning home in March 2017, Army Reserve Cpl. Xaver Boston slipped into his daughters’ elementary school in Winston-Salem for a surprise visit.
“I was just telling them how much I loved them, how much I missed them,” Boston told the Winston-Salem Journal after a school-wide ceremony.
Soon afterward, according to court documents, Romeo Boston returned to Charlotte and reopened his sex ring.
An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)
The Pentagon is sending nearly 1,000 more troops to the Middle East as part of an escalating crisis with Iran that defense officials are struggling to explain.
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
On Monday, Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans received a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail, said Samantha Dooies, an assistant to the New Hanover County District Attorney.
Evans must complete 18 months of unsupervised probation, pay $8,000 in restitution, complete a domestic violence offenders program, and he cannot have any contact with his former girlfriend, Dooies told Task & Purpose. The special operations Marine is also only allowed to have access to firearms though the military while on base or deployed.