Law Enforcement Arrests Gang Members on Federal Sex Trafficking Charges
FORT WORTH, Texas — Following an early morning operation on Thursday, July 21, 2106, conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation (ICE HSI), the Fort Worth Police Department and the U.S. Marshal Service, six individuals, most with ties to the Polywood Crips street gang in Fort Worth, Texas, are in federal custody on charges outlined in a criminal complaint filed earlier this month, and unsealed today, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. Two additional defendants remain fugitives.
The six defendants were arrested at three locations in Fort Worth. During the course of the arrests, among other items, law enforcement seized numerous cell phones, a computer, a tablet and a stolen firearm.
The following individuals made initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton on Friday, July 22, 2016. Judge Cureton ordered each detained pending detention hearings this week.
Those charged and in custody include:
Diwone Nobles, a/k/a “Pooh,” 31
Stanley Johnson, a/k/a “Pee Wee,” 24
Audrey Lane, a/k/a “Spud,” 29
Alvin Lane, a/k/a “Spank,” 32
Jessica Arnold, 23
Serrah Arnold, a/k/a “Kristen,” 27
Chad Johnson, a/k/a “Chad Ocho Hood Fame,” 24, and Deon Bonner, a/k/a “Spanish Fly,” 25, were also charged, and they are currently fugitives.
The complaint alleges that from approximately October 2013 to April 21, 2016, these eight defendants committed the offenses of sex trafficking of children; sex trafficking of adults through force, fraud, or coercion; and/or conspiracy to engage in child sex trafficking. The men listed are pimps, and the females listed are “bottom girls.”
According to the affidavit filed with the complaint, minor victim girls under age 18 and adult victim girls engaged in commercial sex acts at the direction of Nobles, Bonner, and Chad Johnson and they were “sold” back and forth between all six pimps. Nobles, Chad Johnson, Stanley Johnson and Bonner would pay Alvin Lane, Jessica Arnold and Serrah Arnold to post commercial sex advertisements for various victims on Backpage.com, including the minors.
A 16-year-old victim was told by Nobles, Bonner and Chad Johnson to charge $120 for a half hour and $180 for a full hour of commercial sex acts, and the three kept all of the money she received. The victim feared Nobles and Chad Johnson because she had observed both become violent when angry and had observed Chad Johnson assault another female on several occasions when the female did not follow his instructions. Nobles and Chad Johnson assaulted this victim, and Chad Johnson sexually assaulted her as well.
Another 17-year-old victim engaged in commercial sex acts at the direction of Stanley Johnson, who would post advertisements with her photo on Backpage.com. All of the money she earned by engaging in commercial sex acts was given to Stanley Johnson.
An adult female victim engaged in commercial sex acts at the direction of Nobles, Chad Johnson, Audrey Lane, Alvin Lane and Serrah Arnold. These individuals bought and sold her amongst themselves. Nobles frequently assaulted her when she made him angry or did not follow his instructions; he also raped her. Nobles kept the money she earned and the contact phone number used in the Backpage.com ad for her services was used by Nobles. In one trip to Austin, Texas, the adult female victim made enough money for Nobles to buy a Chevy sedan that he painted bright orange – “Poly Orange” in reference to their neighborhood Polytechnic Heights – that he still owns.
When that same adult female victim engaged in commercial sex acts at Chad Johnson’s direction, he physically assaulted her if she did not follow his instructions. On one occasion, Chad Johnson punched her in the ear hard enough to cause her eardrum to burst and bleed. Chad Johnson also raped her, and when he believed she had attempted to “renegade,” he had several friends gang rape her as punishment. “Renegade” is a term used to describe attempting to engage in commercial sex acts for money outside the knowledge or control of a pimp.
When this adult female victim engaged in commercial sex acts at Audrey Lane’s direction, he would have Serrah Arnold, his bottom girl, supervise the victim and take the money she received. Sometimes Serrah Arnold was violent toward this adult female victim and would physically assault her if she did not do as she was instructed.
An additional 17-year-old female victim engaged in commercial sex acts at the direction of Audrey Lane, Alvin Lane, Serrah Arnold and Jessica Arnold. Alvin Lane would have his girlfriend/bottom girl, Jessica Arnold, post photos of her in ads that she placed on Backpage.com. The minor female victim would give all the money she earned to Jessica or Serrah Arnold, who would then give the money to Audrey Lane or Alvin Lane.
Some of the six pimp’s Facebook pages contained online posts, visible to the public, that reference making a lot of money through criminal activity, namely “pimping.” Chad Johnson’s Facebook page contains photos of him posing with large sums of cash while referencing commercial sex. Several of Chad Johnson’s Facebook friends are females observed in Backpage.com ads for commercial sex.
Nobles, Bonner, Chad Johnson, Stanley Johnson and Audrey Lane have several photos on their Facebook pages in which they can be observed flashing gang signs referencing the “Polywood Crips” street gang.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. The government has 30 days to present the matter to a federal grand jury for indictment. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. However, if convicted, the maximum statutory penalty for each of the offenses charged is life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
ATF, ICE HSI, the Fort Worth Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cara Foos Pierce is in charge of the prosecution.
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