TARRANT/DENTON COUNTY, TEXAS, MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX TRAFFICKING AND RELATED FEDERAL CHARGES
DALLAS — Marcus Choice Williams, 36, of Fort Worth, Texas, and formerly of Little Elm, Texas, pleaded guilty this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez to various felony offenses related to a conspiracy he ran to traffic young women for prostitution, announced Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division and James T. Jacks, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Specifically, Williams pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport individuals for prostitution; six counts of transporting individuals for prostitution; one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; two counts of attempted sex trafficking by force; and one count of money laundering. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Williams faces a sentence of 30 years in prison, if the Court accepts the plea. Williams, who has been in custody in the Northern District of Texas since Oct. 2010 when his pretrial release was revoked, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20, 2011, by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey.
“The exploitation of vulnerable women through sex trafficking is the equivalent of modern-day slavery, and will not be tolerated in this nation,” said Assistant Attorney General Perez. “The Justice Department is committed to the aggressive prosecution of all human trafficking cases.”
The idea that an individual can be held in captivity by another person and forced to work in the world of prostitution is shocking to most people,” said U.S. Attorney Jacks. “As evidenced by this and other cases brought by the Department of Justice, these activities are all too prevalent. This office and the Department of Justice as a whole are working to change that fact. We call upon the public to report any and all suspicious activity which may lead to apprehending and prosecuting those persons engaged in this activity and giving freedom to their victims.”
According to documents filed in the case, Williams was a pimp, operating an interstate prostitution business, headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He began operating as a pimp in Texas in 2003 and had, in 2006, expanded his enterprise into a multi-state operation that included advertising on websites. Williams was also known as “Cross Country Redd,” “Redd,” and “Marcus Choice.”
Williams’ modus operandi was to recruit vulnerable women, specifically single mothers from troubled backgrounds, and, in some cases, he used a combination of deception, fraud, coercion, threats and physical violence to compel these women to engage in prostitution. Williams required each young woman to secure a daily quota of money, and if operating out of town, to wire the funds to him. While Williams prostituted numerous women over the years, five sex trafficking women are named in the indictment, all adult women who are single mothers of small children.
Co-defendant Kenya Thomas, 31, of Plano, Texas, the mother of two of Williams’ children, assisted Williams in managing the operation. Thomas worked for Williams and also mentored new recruits and monitored/answered/referred solicitations from his websites. Thomas pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy in Dec. 2009.
The case remains pending against the other co-defendant in the case, Preston Petitt, 44, of Houston, Texas. According to court documents, Williams secured Petitt’s services to bolster his appearance as an important player in the prostitution “game.” Although Petitt accompanied Williams to social events featuring other pimps to play the role of butler/body guard, his primary role was to cook, clean and provide au pair services for Williams’ and Thomas’s children, as well as the children of women being prostituted by Williams, so that their mothers were available to commit acts of prostitution in nearby hotels and, on occasion, in an adjoining hotel room.
Williams made thousands of dollars in prostitution profits, while the young women he exploited received next to nothing. At one point, when Williams’ supply of prostitutes dwindled and his cash flow suffered, he became desperate to recruit more girls, even trying to get Thomas fired from her legitimate job so she could prostitute for him. Subsequently, Williams reverted to the use of brute force in his attempts to obtain women for continued prostitution on his behalf.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Errin Martin and Department of Justice Civil Rights Trial Attorney Myesha Braden.
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