OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Two Oklahoma City residents were sentenced Wednesday to terms in federal prison for child sex trafficking.
These sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney Mark A. Yancey, Western District of Oklahoma. These cases were investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
Maurice Morlee Johnson, 37, of Oklahoma City, was sentenced Aug. 16 to 20 years in federal prison. In a related case, Tonya Gay Gum, 44, of Oklahoma City, was sentenced the same day to four years in federal prison. Both were convicted of conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking.
According to court records, in October 2014, Johnson, 37, of Oklahoma City, assisted by Hiram Mitchell, engaged in sex trafficking two juvenile females (aged 14 and 15) and an adult female. As soon as the 14-year-old was recruited, Johnson instructed her to start calling phone numbers from the escort section of the Yellow Pages to find Tonya Gum, whom he knew as “Carmen.” At the time, Gum operated at least 20 phone numbers listed in the escort section of the Oklahoma City Yellow Pages. The 14-year-old victim contacted Gum and sent her photographs of herself and the adult female. After that, Gum began arranging commercial sex transactions between her established customer base (or new customers who called her phone lines) and the females under Johnson’s control. Johnson drove the girls to hotels, residences, and commercial spaces, where the customers paid for sex in cash. After each commercial sex transaction, Gum met the girls at different locations in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area to receive the proceeds, which Gum and Johnson split. They did not give any money to the victims they trafficked.
A federal grand jury indicted Johnson on Dec. 3, 2014. He pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking on Jan. 30, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron. He must also serve five years on supervised release after he completes his 240-month prison term.
Gum was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 16, 2015, along with co-defendant customers. On Nov. 19, 2015, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking, also before Judge Cauthron. She must also serve three years on supervised release after she completes her 48-month prison term.
Hiram Mitchell is currently serving a 10-year prison term after he pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking Jan. 29, 2015.
In June 2017, one of the group’s customers, Curtis Anthony, was found guilty of conspiracy to engage in child sex trafficking and the substantive offense of child sex trafficking after a jury trial. Trung N. Duong, another customer co-defendant of Gum and Anthony, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking on May 9, 2017. Duong and Anthony await sentencing.
The case against Johnson was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys McKenzie Anderson and Brandon Hale. The case against Gum was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys McKenzie Anderson and David Petermann. Both are with the Western District of Oklahoma.