Republican Representative Matt Gaetz has been under a lengthy investigation related to his alleged involvement in a sex trafficking scheme. The congressman is suspected of sponsoring a trip for a 17-year-old girl.
Florida shock jock Joseph Ellicott, who was said to be a witness in Congressman Gaetz’s sex trafficking probe, pleaded guilty on an unrelated crime in federal court, the Daily Beast reported on Wednesday.
Ellicott is reportedly a close friend of Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector and longtime associate of Gaetz. Earlier media speculated that Ellicott knew “intimate details” about the girl, who was paid for sex by the group.
Ellicott was prosecuted for an unrelated case regarding bribery of a public official and a separate drug crime. He acted on behalf of an unnamed tax office contractor and gave $6,000 to Greenberg.
According to court documents, he also illegally sold a prescription for Adderall, an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medicine. Last week, Ellicott signed a plea agreement admitting to both crimes.
Meanwhile, Ellicott’s attorney said that his client is cooperating with prosecutors from the Justice Department in Washington, DC in the case of Gaetz’s alleged sex trafficking scheme.
“This investigation had nothing to do with the sex scandal, but with the unprecedented things Greenberg was doing with the tax office,” he said, adding that prosecutors “obviously value his continued cooperation, as he does as well.”
The federal probe into Gaetz’s alleged sex trafficking started after prosecutors pressed charges against Greenberg, who pleaded guilty to 33 charges, including sex trafficking a minor. Gaetz himself has claimed that he has “never had sex with a minor and has never paid for sex.”