A white husband and wife, along with six others, were sentenced in connection with sex trafficking of minors in Anderson County.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office, 54-year-old Gary Garland was sentenced to 35 years in prison while 49-year-old Shannon Garland was sentenced to 26 and a half years in prison.
Each was sentenced for their role in a conspiracy to sex traffic minors and produce child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the Garlands “engaged in a conspiracy to force two minor victims to engage in no less than 300 sexual encounters with themselves and other patrons for the benefit of the Garlands.”
“The Garlands rendered the minors totally dependent on them for survival and provided illicit drugs to the minors to force their participation in the sexual acts,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Six others were also sentenced in the same case.
58-year-old Johnny Wells was sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison, 41-year-old Kianna Daily was sentenced to five years in prison, 69-year-old Glenn Whitcomb was sentenced to a year and a half in prison, 33-year-old Michael Skelton was sentenced to just over a year in prison, and 63-year-old John Towery and 30-year-old Duwone Allen were each sentenced to five years probation with house arrest.
The Garlands’ home was also forfeited and they will have to register as sex offenders after their release.
“This case marks an important turning point in the fight against those who seek to exploit children by putting all would be buyers of sex on notice: law enforcement will go after not just the traffickers who force the minor victims into sexual servitude, but also those who patronize and solicit such sexual encounters,” said U.S. Attorney Corey Ellis.
The case was investigated by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations.