A Boston man arrested last fall on state human-trafficking and drug charges at Mass and Cass now faces federal charges that he trafficked women and drugs both there on the Cape and in New York - and that he would beat and rape women to keep them in line.
Jonathan "Anso" Vaughan, 35, already behind bars in the Suffolk County house of correction, will make his initial appearance in federal court on three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, two counts of transportation of an individual for purposes of prostitution and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, the US Attorney's office reports.
Vaughan has been recruiting and selling access to women since at least 2015, and at a tent at Mass and Cass between 2019 and his arrest on human trafficking and cocaine-distribution charges by Boston Police last Oct. 13, according to an affidavit by a Homeland Security investigator on the case:
VAUGHAN maintained a tent at Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard (hereinafter, “Mass. and Cass”) which he used as a hub for distributing drugs and recruiting and trafficking women. More specifically, VAUGHAN permitted his victims of sex trafficking to stay in and to bring “dates” back to his tent so long as he received the proceeds of the commercial sex acts that the women engaged in at VAUGHAN’s direction.
The city cleared all tents out of Mass and Cass in January.
The affidavit continues:
I am aware that VAUGHAN recruited his victims in person, including in Downtown Crossing and in and around Mass. and Cass in Boston. VAUGHAN also recruited women over the internet, particularly over Facebook. According to records received from Facebook, VAUGHAN has been sending Facebook messages to women as a method of recruitment dating back to at least 2015. VAUGHAN recruited victims to work for him and to engage in commercial sex acts with paying customers with promises of a better life, including, financial stability, nice hotels and clothes, shelter (in his tent or hotels) and drugs to satiate addictions. In fact, VAUGHAN had available for his victims "brown" (heroin or fentanyl) and "hard" (crack cocaine). At the time of his arrest on October 13, 2021 in the area of Mass. and Cass by the Boston Police Department's Human Trafficking Unit, VAUGHAN had on his person approximately fifteen bags of crack cocaine – packaged to be distributed to drug users.
When not selling access to women in a tent, Vaughan used megapersonals.com and adultsearch.com to advertise their services, the affidavit continues.
VAUGHAN brought his victims to hotels, many of which he booked in person or online per records reviewed from Priceline.com. These hotels were in locations that included Boston, Chelsea, Saugus, the Cape, and Queens and Manhattan, New York. Once there, VAUGHAN had his victims perform "dates" both as in-calls at the hotel or out-calls at a location chosen by the client. VAUGHAN also forced at least two of his victims to solicit themselves outdoors, by walking "the track" in areas such as Mass. and Cass in Boston, Broadway in Chelsea, and in and around Times Square in Manhattan. VAUGHAN set financial targets for his sex trafficking victims to meet and threatened them not to return to him if they did not meet those quotas on a given night. Proceeds of the commercial sex acts that VAUGHAN's victims engaged in at his direction went to VAUGHAN, either in cash or sent to a CashApp account controlled by VAUGHAN. The investigation also revealed that dating back to at least 2019, VAUGHAN engaged in both physical and sexual violence on his victims to manipulate them and to assert power and control over them.
Vaughan was not shy, the affidavit states:
I am aware from my investigation that VAUGHAN, a/k/a "Ason," calls himself "Ason the Pimp" and has a tattoo across his chest that states: "Pimp or Die." Records received from Facebook show that dating back to at least 2013, VAUGHAN publishes self-created videos and rap songs, in both publicly available posts and private Facebook messages, in which he talks and sings about his work as a pimp and willingness to engage in violence with women. For example, per records received from Facebook, in some videos from September 2021, VAUGHAN repeats the phrase, "shit don't stop ‘til a bitch get knocked." Per records from Facebook, in a video from 2013, VAUGHAN states that he is "pimping everywhere I go" and that "N***** are sending my bitches hundreds of dollars in the morning."