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Press Release

Three Sentenced for Promoting Interstate Prostitution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Acting United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad announced that Charles Nash (28) and Brandon Smith (40) of Appleton, WI and Elizabeth Johnson (27) of Two Rivers, WI were recently sentenced by Chief Judge William C. Griesbach. Smith was sentenced on December 10, 2015, to 48 months imprisonment following his guilty plea to three counts of using a telephone to promote, manage and carry on a prostitution business in violation of Title 18, United State Code, Section 1952. Smith was ordered to serve three years of federal supervised release following his prison term. Nash was sentenced on November 25, 2015, to 46 months prison following his guilty plea to two counts of using a telephone to promote, manage and carry on a prostitution business. Nash will also serve a three year term of federal supervised release after the service of his prison term. Johnson was sentenced on November 23, 2015, to “time served” meaning a six month sentence but credited for that same amount of time that she was held in jail both before and following her guilty plea to the charge of using a telephone to promote, manage and carry on a prostitution business. Johnson is currently serving a three year term of federal supervised release. 

According to court documents, in February 2015, Nash and Smith arranged for Johnson and Jane Doe to travel from the Fox Valley area to Iowa and then Nebraska for purposes of engaging in prostitution. Johnson had previously worked as a prostitute and instructed Jane Doe, prior to the travel, in how to commit such offenses without being detected by law enforcement. Johnson and Jane Doe were arrested in Nebraska on February 26, 2015, pursuant to an undercover prostitution sting operation. Prior to their arrest, Nash was in continual contact with Johnson for purposes of persuading and inducing her to commit acts of prostitution in order to raise money so he could hire an attorney for his pending drug charge. Smith was in regular contact with Jane Doe for purposes of persuading and inducing her to commit acts of prostitution. Jane Doe later stated that any money made would have been given to Smith, her pimp. Jane Doe also confirmed that Johnson instructed her on how to conduct acts of prostitution. The investigation confirmed that Johnson performed acts of prostitution at Nash’s direction for many months and also attempted to persuade others to work as prostitutes for Nash. Further, the investigation revealed several other prostitutes that worked under the direction of both Nash and Smith.   

In pronouncing sentence, Judge Griesbach noted the aggravated nature of the case including the negative impact such conduct has on the community. In particular, Judge Griesbach referenced the psychological and often physical trauma sustained by young women through the course of being prostituted by individuals such as Nash and Smith.

The case was investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice-Division of Criminal Investigation, Appleton Police Department, Oshkosh Police Department, Outagamie County Sheriff Department, the Lincoln (Nebraska) Police Department, and the Omaha Police Department/FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. The Outagamie County District Attorney’s Office, in particular, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Maier, provided invaluable assistance by initiating and leading the initial investigation of the case. The federal case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Roach.

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Updated January 6, 2016