Southwest Houston Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking Adult Women by Force
HOUSTON – A 28-year old resident of Katy has admitted he conspired to compel three adult women to engage in sex trafficking by means of force and violence in Houston and other locations across the country, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Marquis Holmes aka “Goldie” pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by means of force, fraud and coercion; two counts of transportation to engage in prostitution; and two counts of enticing and coercing another to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.
From June 2015 until his arrest in March 2018, Holmes scoured social media websites to recruit women, often under false pretenses, to work as prostitutes for him. Under threat of violence and actual violence, Holmes prostituted two of these women in Houston and Austin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mississippi; Alabama; South Carolina and other locations across the country. Holmes coerced the women to pose for pictures used in online advertisements for sex and to engage in commercial sex acts for money. Holmes collected all the money the women earned.
On March 30, 2018, authorities arrested Holmes, at which time a third victim was rescued along with her infant child. After repeatedly physically assaulting the woman, Holmes forced her to solicit commercial sex dates along the 1.3 mile stretch of Bissonnet St., commonly referred to as “The Track.” If she did not meet the monetary quota Holmes had set, he beat her and deprived her of food.
Holmes has been and will remain in custody pending his sentencing, set for Sept. 19, 2019. At that time, he faces up to life in prison.
The Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA) conducted the investigation.
HTRA law enforcement includes members of the Houston Police Department, FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Attorney General’s Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Department of Labor, Department of State, Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission, Texas Department of Public Safety, Coast Guard and sheriff’s offices in Harris and Montgomery counties in coordination with District Attorney’s offices in Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend Counties.
Established in 2004, the United States Attorney’s office in Houston formed HTRA to combine resources with federal, state and local enforcement agencies and prosecutors, as well as non-governmental service organizations to target human traffickers while providing necessary services to those that the traffickers victimized. Since its inception, HTRA has been recognized as both a national and international model in identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking and prosecuting those engaged in trafficking offenses.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sebastian Edwards and Carrie Wirsing prosecuted this case.