Edwards sentenced for sex trafficking of girls in Montana

Posted at 9:47 AM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 11:47:58-04

(GREAT FALLS) Terrance Tyrell Edwards was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison this week for "pimping" underage girls in Montana, including in Missoula, Polson, and Billings.

Edwards will also be under supervised release for the rest of his life following his release, according to the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Watters.

In February 2018, a jury found that Edwards was a pimp who forced his victims to sell their bodies for his own gain.

The guilty verdicts against Edwards were on three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; three counts of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in prostitution; one count of obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation; one count of transportation of a person with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; one count of distribution of marijuana to person under 21 years of age; and one count of tampering with a witness, victim, or informant. 

Edwards’ co-defendant, Francine Joann Granados, was also found guilty of tampering with a witness.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in March of 2016, shortly after he was released from prison on prostitution charges, Edwards began forcing his first victim in this case to engage in commercial sex in Missoula. Edwards physically and emotionally abused her, and threatened her life and the lives of her family members.  Edwards took all of the money from the commercial sex encounters.  As time progressed, Edwards added other women, as many as five.  He followed the same pattern of grooming and abuse each time.  Some of the abuse was well-documented, such as when Edwards struck one victim in his car with such force that her blood splattered on the seat belt, which was later identified as the victim’s blood. 

Edwards advertised his victims on  They traveled from place to place in Montana and Utah, conducting commercial sex transactions where Edwards received the lion’s share of the money. 

In September of 2016, Edwards convinced three minor females from Fargo, North Dakota, ages 15, 16, and 17, to join his group.  Edwards drove them to Billings, and on the way, he supplied the underage girls with marijuana.  Edwards was arrested in Billings shortly after arriving with the minor girls from North Dakota. 

After Edwards was arrested, he and Granados began trying to influence the testimony of the various victims.  In recorded jail calls played for the jury, Edwards and Granados discussed how Granados would reach out to the victims in an effort to influence their testimony.  Despite warnings from the FBI to have no contact with the victims, Granados persisted.  In other recorded jail calls, Edwards reached out to victims himself to influence their testimony. . 

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