Amarillo Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Child Sex Trafficking Offense
AMARILLO, Texas — An Amarillo man appeared in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson and pleaded guilty to an indictment charging one count of attempted sex trafficking of a child, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Deswan Newsome, 19, faces a statutory penalty of not less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date was not set.
According to plea documents filed in the case, Newsome admitted that from approximately March 30, 2015 to April 3, 2015, he attempted to recruit a 15-year-old girl to engage in commercial sex acts.
The investigation began when a Task Force Officer (TFO) with U.S .Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) learned that a particular individual was using Facebook to recruit and entice teenage females for prostitution. In March 2015, the TFO set up an undercover Facebook account representing himself as a 15-year-old female, “A.M.,” and the two exchanged messages about A.M. working as a prostitute, with the individual claiming, “You can make 2500 in a week if you really put the work into it.” The individual sent A.M. his phone number and the two discussed a meeting, however the conversation ended without any arrangements being made.
On April 1, 2015, the TFO (A.M.) received a private message on his undercover Facebook account from “Deswan Newsome,” later identified as defendant Newsome. Newsome and A.M. exchanged messages about A.M. engaging in prostitution, and A.M. advised Newsome that she was 15-years-old.
On April 2, 2015, an Amarillo Police Department officer, posing as A.M., made a phone call to Newsome, who answered, but then turned the call over to a female who provided more details about prostitution to A.M. A.M. advised this female that she was 15-years-old.
On April 3, 2015, A.M. and Newsome exchanged messages and arranged to meet at a convenience store in Amarillo so A.M. could engage in prostitution. When Newsome arrived at the location, he was identified and taken into custody. Newsome admitted talking to A.M. on Facebook and said that he was going to have someone else teach her how to perform sex acts, and that he’d get 60 percent of the money she made for performing the commercial sex acts.
The Amarillo Police Department and HSI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Hammer and Joshua Frausto are prosecuting.