LUBBOCK, Texas — A man accused of traveling across state lines with the intention of sex trafficking a teenager, Deryan Thomas, 32, agreed to plead guilty to Interstate Transportation to Engage in Prostitution, according to federal court records obtained by EverythingLubbock.com on Monday.
Thomas, Cameron Phifer, 24, and Bianka Vega, 23, were initially indicted in June on Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking of a Minor, Sex Trafficking and Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Minor, Interstate Transportation to Engage in Prostitution and two other charges.
Federal court documents stated a teenager went missing from her Lubbock home in November of 2022. Court records said Thomas, Phifer and Vega took the victim to Odessa and taught her how to be a prostitute. Court documents said the three knew each other because Phifer and Thomas were members of the same rap group based in Lubbock.
The group later traveled to Carlsbad, New Mexico and continued trafficking. Court records said Thomas admitted to helping make online ads that offered sexual services and showed lewd pictures of Vega and the victim. The ads were posted in the Carlsbad and Roswell areas.
In New Mexico, court records said Phifer had “primary control” over the victim. The victim was eventually left at a hotel in Carlsbad where she was picked up and trafficked by someone else, court documents stated. Court records previously suggested the victim recovered during a human trafficking investigation at an Abilene motel in March.
If a judge accepts his plea, Thomas will be sentenced at a later date to no more than 10 years in prison. He will be required to register as a sex offender.