DALLAS — A woman from Fort Worth, Texas, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise related to a child sex trafficking organization.
This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by Fort Worth Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); both are members of the North Texas Trafficking Task Force.
In May 2017, a federal grand jury in Dallas returned an indictment charging conspiracy to engage in child sex trafficking against Shatara Armstrong, 31, and the following four other co-defendants: Marquist Fulcher, aka “Keezie,” 28, Chapoleon Fischer, aka “Kidd,” 28, Marcus Speed, 26, and Tiffany Gideon, 22.
According to plea documents filed in Armstrong’s case, beginning around 2014, Fulcher began acting as a pimp over several young girls and women. He facilitated the commercial sex acts of 14-year-old Jane Doe 1, 17-year-old Jane Doe 2, and 17-year-old Jane Doe 4, among others. In late 2015, Fulcher asked Armstrong to assist him in his prostitution enterprise, and she agreed to do so.
Fulcher and Armstrong rented rooms at various hotels for Jane Doe l, Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 4, and others, to use to engage in commercial sex acts. Fulcher and Armstrong created and posted ads on the commercial sex website Backpage.com for the girls and women, who in turn gave to Fulcher the proceeds from their commercial sex acts. On some occasions, when Fulcher was not present at the hotel, the girls and women gave their commercial sex proceeds to Armstrong, who later gave them to Fulcher.
Fulcher and Armstrong worked with other pimps, including Speed and Fischer, as part of their prostitution enterprise. The organization recruited victims in various ways, including finding them on the internet. Members of the group also traded girls amongst themselves. Some victims were recruited from the Dallas area, including 16-year-old Jane Doe 3. Fulcher, Speed and Fischer often rented rooms at the same hotels at the same time for their girls to engage in commercial sex acts. In addition, Armstrong sometimes rented rooms for Fischer and his girls to use to engage in commercial sex acts.
The pimps in this organization often used violence and threats of violence as a means to control their victims. Fulcher was often violent towards Armstrong in front of the girls who were working for him. This violence was meant to send a message to the others about what would happen to them if they did not obey Fulcher.
Armstrong faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Armstrong will remain on bond pending sentencing which is set for Nov. 1.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cara Foos Pierce and Myria Boehm, Northern District of Texas, are in charge of this prosecution.