19-year-old Markell Quashan Sweargin of Lubbock made his initial appearance in federal court in Las Cruces, NM, on a criminal complaint charging him with transporting a person in interstate commerce for the purpose of forcing the person to engage in a commercial sex act.

If convicted of the charge in the criminal complaint, Sweargin faces a minimum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

On June 14th, 2017, officers of the Hobbs Police Department arrested Sweargin on state charges after responding to a domestic disturbance call from a woman who alleged that Sweargin strangled and assaulted her during an altercation arising from her refusal to engage in a sexual act with another man for money.

Sweargin, the victim, and another person traveled from Lubbock to a hotel in Hobbs, NM. Once in the hotel room, Sweargin allegedly attempted to coerce the victim into having sex with other men for money and became angry when the victim refused.