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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Houston Man Heads to Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking of Children

HOUSTON – Pierre Johnson, 40, has been handed a significant sentence following his conviction of conspiring to traffic children under 18 for commercial sex, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Johnson pleaded guilty July 10, 2014.

Today, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison handed Johnson a sentence of 168 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by 10 years of supervised release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. In imposing the sentence, Judge Ellison noted the serious nature of the crimes Johnson committed.

Johnson admitted that during parts of 2013, he used force, fraud or coercion to cause at least three minor girls under 18 to engage in commercial sex acts. Johnson trafficked underage children across three states, including Texas, Louisiana and Colorado. All of the victims were photographed in online ads that were posted for prostitution. In the ads, the minors were falsely advertised as being adults. Johnson provided the children with drugs and alcohol and kept all of the monies the girls earned. Johnson would also transport the minors by car across state lines so they could perform commercial sex acts in response to the on-line ads he posted.

Johnson has been in custody since his arrest in March 2014. He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Pierre Johnson’s co-conspirator, Dominqiue Howard, 25, was sentenced earlier this month also to 168 months.

An investigation by the Houston FBI Innocence Lost Task Force, which includes such agencies as the Houston Police Department, developed this case using statements from victims as well as on line advertisements for the victims’ services and hotel records from several hotels.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie N. Searle and Sherri L. Zack, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

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Updated July 7, 2015