TWO TEXAS-AREA INDIVIDUALS CHARGED WITH SEX TRAFFICKING OF A MINOR BY FORCE, FRAUD, AND COERCION INTO THE NEW ORLEANS AREA
TAUREAN OKEITH JACKSON, a/k/a “Marvelous Rich,” “Richard Jones,” and “Richard Marvelously”, age 24, from Dallas, Texas, and ANDREA BIRDOW, age 22, from Sherman, Texas, were charged today in a five-count Indictment for offenses related to their involvement in the sex trafficking of a minor from the Dallas, Texas-area into the New Orleans area for the purposes of that minor engaging in prostitution, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.
According to the Indictment, in mid-June 2013, JACKSON and BIRDOW met the victim, who was 16 years-old, in the Dallas, Texas-area, and shortly thereafter recruited her to being working for JACKSON as a prostitute. Over the course of the next several weeks, JACKSON and BIRDOW drove the victim throughout Texas and Louisiana for the purpose of BIRDOW and the victim engaging in prostitution, which JACKSON advertised and arranged using an online classified advertisement. JACKSON also provided the victim with alcohol and/or illicit drugs to numb her senses, control her behavior, and encourage the victim to continue engaging in prostitution. JACKSON also controlled the victim by violence, including beating her with an extension cord and beating and choking BIRDOW in front of the victim, while telling the victim that he would do the same to her if she tried to leave him. JACKSON was the creator and host of a Dallas-area radio program entitled, “Cheap Hoes Gotta Go.” Ultimately, BIRDOW and the victim were arrested in a Metairie hotel room by undercover law enforcement officers on July 10, 2013. JACKSON was arrested in Dallas, Texas, approximately one week later. The Indictment also provides notice of an enhancement of JACKSON’S sentence upon conviction based on his prior convictions for Compelling Prostitution of an Individual Under the Age of 18and Sexual Assault of a Child lewd and lascivious assault of a minor in Dallas, Texas.
If convicted, BIRDOW faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, as well as a life time of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. JACKSON faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum of life, followed by up to a life term of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Both BIRDOW and JACKSON can also be required to register as sex offenders.
United States Attorney Polite reiterated that the Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
This case was initiated by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and is being investigated by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the FBI Dallas Child Exploitation Task Force, and the Dallas Police Department High Risk Victims Unit. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.
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