For nearly two years, Thomas Cox ran a sex-trafficking ring that did business in Buffalo and at least 10 other cities across the nation.
Cox, a Buffalo resident, victimized several people, including a minor girl, as part of an operation that advertised on backpage.com and social media outlets.
Convicted of sex trafficking a minor, he was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to 14 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Fabian said Cox engaged in conduct that was "severe and disturbing" and included punishing his victims when they didn't earn enough money.
Fabian also questioned Cox's self-described remorse and noted that after his arrest, he said, "I had a lot of fun but it wasn't worth it."
During his court appearance Monday, Cox apologized to his victims, and defense attorney Lori A. Hoffman said he now understands the "pain and anguish" he caused the victims.
Cox's conviction and sentence resulted from an FBI investigation.