FORT WORTH, Texas — Six individuals, most with ties to the Polywood Crips street gang in Fort Worth, Texas, have been charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking of children, sex trafficking through force, fraud or coercion and related offenses. Three additional defendants involved in the conspiracy, each charged in a criminal information, have entered guilty pleas. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Most of the defendants were arrested on July 21, 2016, on related charges, outlined in a criminal complaint following an operation conducted by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Fort Worth Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Each of the below-listed defendants acted as a “pimp” and is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking:
- Chad Johnson, a/k/a “Ocho Hood Fame,” 24
- Diwone Nobles, a/k/a “Pooh,” 32
- Audry Lane, a/k/a “Spud,” 29
- Deon Bonner, a/k/a “Spanish Fly,” 26
- Stanley Johnson, a/k/a “Pee Wee,” 24
- Katelyn Michelle Ward, a/k/a “KD,” 24
In addition, Chad Johnson is charged with two counts of sex trafficking through force, fraud or coercion; one count of sex trafficking of children through force, fraud or coercion; and one count of sex trafficking of children. Nobles is charged with one count each of sex trafficking through force, fraud or coercion; one count of sex trafficking of children through force, fraud or coercion; and one count of sex trafficking of children. Audry Lane is also charged with two counts of sex trafficking through force, fraud or coercion and one count of sex trafficking of children. Bonner and Stanley Johnson are also each charged with two counts of sex trafficking of children.
The three defendants who pleaded guilty on October 17, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor, are:
- Jessica Arnold, 23
- Serrah Arnold, a/k/a “Kristen,” 28
- Alvin Lane, a/k/a “Spank,”
Alvin Lane pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children. Sisters Jessica and Serrah Arnold each pleaded guilty to one count of use of a facility of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise.
The indictment alleges that beginning before June 1, 2013, though approximately July 21, 2016, the six defendants conspired and agreed with others to recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain and maintain, female children victims under the age of 18, as well as adult victims, recklessly disregarding that force, threats of force, fraud and coercion and any combination of such means would be used to cause these victims to engage in commercial sex acts.
In the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, one minor female 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.
Another minor female 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, Audry Lane, Alvin Lane, and Serrah Arnold. 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 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 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 Audry 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 grand jury for indictment. An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, each count in the indictment carries a maximum statutory penalty of life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
ATF, ICE HSI and the Fort Worth Police Department are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cara Foos Pierce is in charge of the prosecution.