Editor's note: This story was originally published Aug. 13.
A New Jersey man convicted in Lancaster County of running a prostitution ring and human trafficking operation was sentenced to 55 to 141 years in prison.
Barry C. "Bear" Schiff was convicted of multiple charges including trafficking in individuals, corrupt organizations, involuntary servitude, conspiracy and prostitution following an eight-day jury trial in November.
Schiff and his co-defendent, Kenneth J. Crowell, were charged in November 2017 after operating a human trafficking organization in Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties and in southern New Jersey from 2014 to 2017, a news release said.
The duo was arrested and charged after two undercover state troopers responded to a prostitution advertisement on the website Backpage and arranged a meeting with a woman at the Cork Factory Hotel in Lancaster, according to previous LNP | LancasterOnline reports.
After the officers identified themselves, the woman told them she didn’t feel safe and wanted to get out, authorities said.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General Office's said that Schiff and Crowell took advantage of "vulnerable young women by luring them with promises of money, protection and drugs."
“Schiff will spend the rest of his life behind bars, unable to hurt any other women or cause the trauma jurors heard about during the testimony of the brave women who stood up to tell their stories," said Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
During the trial, eight victims testified about the sexual, physical and emotional abuse they endured.
One woman told the grand jury that Schiff got her addicted to heroin and then used debt from a bail payment to manipulate her into trafficking.
Another woman said that Schiff threatened to "chop" her up after she attempted to escape.
“No one should ever be victimized by the kind of brutality and violence that happened in this case,” Shapiro said. “I’m grateful to the many survivors who came forward and shared their stories to make this sentencing possible.”
Crowell, 36, was previously sentenced to at least 39-and-one-third to 146 years. He was recently denied a new sentence, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's office.