Truck driver goes to prison on prostitution charge

A St. Joseph, Mo., truck driver who is a registered sex offender was sentenced in federal court Wednesday Aug. 12 for transporting a minor across state lines for prostitution.

Tony Eugene Wardlow, 56, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to 20 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.

Wardlow was convicted on Dec. 17, 2014, of transporting a minor across state lines for prostitution. Wardlow also pleaded guilty on Feb. 14, 2014, to interstate transportation for prostitution.

Wardlow was self-employed as a truck driver, doing business as Prideco, LLC. He is a registered sex offender who was convicted in 1997 in Nodaway County, Mo., of sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual misconduct (involving two separate child victims). Wardlow also has prior felony convictions for being a felon in possession of firearms and possessing methamphetamine.

Evidence submitted during the trial indicated that Wardlow paid the minor victim for sex on multiple occasions while she was working as a prostitute in Kansas City, Mo. She was under 18 years of age at the time.

According to a statement from, B. Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Wardlow took her out of town in his truck on several occasions, including a trip to Texas in September 2011. During the trip, Wardlow engaged in prostitution activity with the minor victim multiple times, both in Wardlow’s truck and in hotels.

The minor victim testified at trial that Wardlow threatened her with violence. There was evidence presented at trial that Wardlow made threats towards this victim should she ever contact law enforcement.