Houston Man Facing Additional Charges for Witness Tampering
|March 22, 2012|
HOUSTON – A Houston man already facing charges of sex trafficking in the Southern District of Texas has been indicted on additional charges of witness tampering, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. A federal grand jury returned the nine-count indictment today against Andre McDaniels, 42, accusing him of tampering with witnesses in a pending criminal proceeding.
McDaniels is one of six defendants named in a superceding 18-count indictment returned in 2011 alleging conspiracy and sex trafficking of children and forcing and coercing adults to engage in commercial sex acts. According to allegations in that case, McDaniels and others operated commercialized sex businesses often disguised as modeling studios, health spas and massage parlors in Houston and employed sexually oriented publications and websites to advertise their illicit business. The criminal enterprise allegedly transported women and minors to and from the Houston area and had ties to Kansas, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. Women and minors as young as 16 were enticed and coerced into prostitution and were routinely beaten and threatened, according to that indictment. The defendants allegedly collected any proceeds the women and minors received as a result of “dates” rendering them dependent upon the defendants for basic necessities.
According to the allegations in the indictment returned just a short time ago, on Jan. 6, 2012, McDaniels attempted to contact witnesses and other law enforcement officials in his pending criminal case and to intimidate, threaten or corruptly persuade them in an effort to influence or prevent their testimony.
If convicted of the witness tampering charges, McDaniels faces up to a possible term of life in prison in addition to a $250,000 fine. McDaniels has been and will remain in custody pending further criminal proceedings.
The tampering was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig M. Feazel and John D. Jocher.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.