Standing before a federal judge Wednesday, Drayon Wren said that when he was released from an eight-year term in state prison, he was confident he was the “one in a million” who could achieve his dreams.
Wren, 38, had written a play and a novel while in prison. He had taken classes in business management, and had a formal business plan for a streaming media urban entertainment outlet for Milwaukee talent.
He said he only started sex trafficking his girlfriend and three 17-year-olds to raise the capital he need to launch his legitimate venture.
“My thought process went wrong,” Wren said.
U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller agreed and sentenced Wren to 18 years in prison, concurrent to the rest of a state sentence he’s serving for violating probation on a reckless injury conviction.
Stadtmueller remarked on the “depravity” of Wren’s crime, that targeted “our most precious resource, our young people.”
Wren’s attorney, Thomas Erickson, suggested his client deserved something in the range of 11 years, because he didn’t have a large stable of prostitutes, didn’t use a gun or personally sexually abuse his victims. He called it a “low rent” operation, in which Wren and his girlfriend Robin Wright, who recruited the 17-year-olds and also performed prostitution, were “barely getting by.”
According to court records, Wren and Wright took two 17-year-olds to an Elk Grove, Ill., hotel in June 2014. Wren had the girls stay in a bathroom and watch Wright and a customer to learn how to do “dates.”
They did a couple before falling asleep with Wright, which angered Wren, who was upset that they weren’t all working. One of the girls tried to call her sister in Milwaukee to come get them, and the Elk Grove police responded to the hotel.
Wren and Wright were charged in August 2014. Wren pleaded guilty in July to four sex-trafficking-related charges in a federal indictment. A third minor victim was prostituted during earlier sessions, according to court records.
Wright, 22, pleaded guilty in June to interstate travel in promotion of prostitution and was sentenced in September to time served and two years of supervised release.