COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Columbia man plead guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to sex traffic minors and benefiting from sex trafficking of minors.

Donnell Salethian Woodard,  31, of Columbia, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison with a maximum of life, a fine of $250,000, a trafficking fund special assessment of $5,000, mandatory registration as a sex offender, and at least 5 years and up to a lifetime of supervised release.

According to law enforcement, in November of 2017, the Lexington Police Department encountered a minor advertising sex via a website.

 An undercover officer set up a meeting with the minor at a local motel, and officers saw the minor being dropped off by Woodard and India Tykeyah-Najee Cuyler,  24. 

Officers placed both Woodard and Cuyler under arrest. 

The investigation led to another nearby motel where they found a second minor. The investigation revealed Woodard and Cuyler were using a cell phone to post advertisements for commercial sex with the minors on a website and taking a portion of the proceeds.

Woodard and Cuyler were both charged federally.

Cuyler previously pleaded guilty in federal court to using a facility of interstate commerce (a cell phone) to entice a minor under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity and is awaiting sentencing. Cuyler faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison with a maximum of life, a fine of $250,000, a trafficking fund special assessment of $5,000, mandatory registration as a sex offender, and at least 5 years and up to a lifetime of supervised release. 

United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs of Columbia accepted the guilty pleas and will sentence both Woodard and Cuyler after receiving and reviewing sentencing reports prepared by the United States Probation Office.