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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Two Sentenced in Gang Child Sex Trafficking Conspiracy

Defendants Had Ties to Polywood Crips Street Gang in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, Texas — Diwone Nobles, a/k/a “Pooh,” 32 and Katelyn Michelle Ward, a/k/a “KD,” 24, have been sentenced for their roles in a child sex trafficking conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Noble appeared before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor yesterday and was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of children in November 2016.

Ward also appeared before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor yesterday and was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison. She pleaded guilty to one count of use of a facility of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise in November 2016.

A total of nine defendants were charged in the case, pleaded guilty to their role in the child sex trafficking conspiracy and have been sentenced to the following prison sentences.

     Chad Johnson, a/k/a “Ocho Hood Fame,” 24, 300 months

     Audry Lane, a/k/a “Spud,” 29, 280 months

     Deon Bonner, a/k/a “Spanish Fly,” 26, 360 months

     Stanley Johnson, a/k/a “Pee Wee,” 24, 168 months

     Alvin Lane, a/k/a “Spank,” 32, 166 months

     Jessica Arnold, 23, 5 years probation

     Serrah Arnold, 28, 5 years probation

 

According to documents filed in the case, in November 2015, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) learned that a 16-year-old runaway, Jane Doe 1, was being trafficked by a group of people in Fort Worth, Texas; that group included the defendants. The investigation revealed that from approximately October 1, 2013, through April 16, 2016, the members of this group facilitated the commercial sex acts of several minor and adult females.

Nobles, Bonner, Chad Johnson, Stanley Johnson, Audry Lane, Ward and Alvin Lane acted as pimps for the girls and women they trafficked. They instructed them on how much to charge and they kept proceeds from transactions. They also provided the girls and women with condoms, cellular phones and hotel rooms. Some of the member of the group bought and sold the girls and women they were trafficking amongst themselves.

To locate commercial sex customers, Nobles, Bonner, Chad Johnson, Stanley Johnson, Ward, Audry Lane and Alvin Lane facilitated the placement of advertisements on various commercial websites, including Backpage.com. In many instances, rather than placing the Backpage.com advertisement themselves, sisters Serrah and Jessica Arnold, who acted as “bottom girls,” were told to post the advertisements using Backpage.com accounts belonging to the Arnolds.

On approximately June 1, 2013, 17-year-old Jane Doe 4 was introduced to Audry Lane, Serrah and Jessica Arnold, and Alvin Lane by a family friend of the Arnolds, defendant Ward. Ward asked the Lanes and Arnolds to teach Jane Doe 4 how to engage in commercial sex acts. Serrah and Jessica Arnold explained to Jane Doe 4 about Backpage.com and how to talk to commercial sex customers. Ward, along with Audry Lane, and later Alvin Lane, acted as Jane Doe 4’s pimp at various times between 2013 and 2015. All three pimps knew she was 17 when they began facilitating her commercial sex acts, and they kept the proceeds she earned. Various members of the group posted Jane Doe 4 on Backpage.com and facilitated her commercial sex acts.

On approximately October 10, 2015, friends Bonner and Stanley Johnson met 17-year-old Jane Doe 2 and her 16-year-old friend Jane Doe 1 in Fort Worth. They took the girls to a motel on Meacham Street in Fort Worth. Shortly thereafter, Stanley Johnson told Jane Doe 2 that he wanted her to engage in commercial sex acts, and he sought help from Audry Lane and Alvin Lane to post commercial sex ads for her on Backpage.com. Stanley Johnson told Jane Doe 2 how much to charge and he bought condoms for her; he also kept the money she made from engaging in commercial sex acts.

While Stanley Johnson was causing Jane Doe 2 to engage in commercial sex acts at a Fort Worth motel, Bonner was causing Jane Doe 1 to engage in commercial sex acts in another nearby room. After several days, Bonner left the hotel, and then Chad Johnson caused Jane Doe 1 to engage in commercial sex acts. Next, Nobles began causing Jane Doe 1 to engage in commercial sex acts. Stanley Johnson and Nobles eventually took both Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 to another hotel in Fort Worth where Stanley Johnson continued to cause Jane Doe 2 to engage in commercial sex acts.

According to documents filed in the case, one adult female victim engaged in commercial sex acts at the direction of Nobles, Chad Johnson, Audry Lane, Alvin Lane, and Serrah Arnold during 2014. 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, this 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 an 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 an adult female victim engaged in commercial sex acts at Audry Lane’s direction, he would have Serrah Arnold, his “bottom girl,” supervise the victim and take the money she received.

A minor female victim, 16 year-old Jane Doe 5, engaged in commercial sex acts at the direction of Audry 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 Audry Lane or Alvin Lane.

Some of the 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 contained photos of him posing with large sums of cash while referencing commercial sex. Several of Chad Johnson’s Facebook friends were females observed in Backpage.com ads for commercial sex. Likewise, Diwone Nobles posted numerous videos and photos on Facebook instructing others on how to pimp, and showing him counting money with various sex trafficking victims.

Nobles, Bonner, Chad Johnson, Stanley Johnson, and Audry Lane had several photos on their Facebook pages in which they can be observed flashing gang signs referencing the “Polywood Crips” street gang.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Fort Worth Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cara Foos Pierce prosecuted.

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Topic: 
Human Trafficking
Updated April 11, 2017