COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A man faces nearly two decades in prison for human trafficking and the fatal overdose of a Columbus woman.
Paul Chiles, 38, was sentenced to up to 19 years in prison in Franklin County on Monday morning for charges related to a 19-count felony indictment, including drug trafficking, promoting and compelling prostitution and abuse of a corpse. Last November, Chiles pleaded guilty to human trafficking and involuntary manslaughter, both first-degree felonies.
In April 2020, 21-year-old Cecilia Riegel of Columbus died of an overdose. An investigation by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force tied Chiles to the overdose, with investigators alleging he provided Riegel the illegal drugs. A grand jury indicted Chiles in September 2020.
Chiles, also known as “Tommy Guns,” was sentenced to 14 to 19 years in prison, with about 2.5 years of timed served for the years he spent in Franklin County Jail awaiting trial. Upon release, he will be registered as a Tier II sex offender, according to his guilty plea. Under Ohio law, Tier II sex offenders must register and verify their addresses every 180 days for 25 years.
Franklin County prosecuting attorney Dan Meyer said he believes the sentencing brings Riegel’s family some closure.
“I don’t want to speak for them, I don’t want to put words in their mouth, but I think there’s a sense of relief that this is kind of over and behind them, and that Mr. Chiles is going to be doing a hefty prison sentence,” Meyer said.
Chiles could have faced nearly 40 years in prison for the two charges. Meyer said prosecutors sought a 20-year sentence. In court, Chiles’ attorneys and family asked the judge for a lighter sentence.
“What people don’t see, when you review evidence with a client like him, is how bad someone feels,” defense attorney Brian Joslyn said.
In exchange for Chiles’ guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop the following felony charges:
- Two additional counts of trafficking in persons (First degree)
- One count of corrupting another with drugs (Second degree)
- Three counts of compelling prostitution (Third degree)
- One count of tampering with evidence (Third degree)
- Five counts of promoting prostitution (Fourth degree)
- Two counts of drug trafficking (Fourth and fifth degree)
- One count of abuse of a corpse (Fifth degree)
- Two counts of drug possession (Fifth degree)