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November 14, 2022Omaha, NE, United StatesChild Exploitation

Nebraska woman sentenced for conspiracy to sex traffic minors following HSI, law enforcement partner investigation

OMAHA, Neb. — Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Kansas City Katherine Greer and Acting United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that Sidney Marker, 28, of Seward, Nebraska, was sentenced in an Omaha federal court Nov. 14 for conspiracy to sex traffic minors following an HSI and law enforcement partner investigation.

Chief Judge Robert F. Rossiter Jr. sentenced Marker to 180 months of imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal prison system. After her release from prison, Marker will serve 5 years of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.

On Nov. 8, Chief Judge Rossiter sentenced Marker’s codefendant, Carney Turner, 42, of Omaha, to life imprisonment on one count of conspiracy to sex traffic minors, three counts of sex trafficking of a minor and two counts of enticement of a minor. Chief Judge Rossiter also sentenced codefendant Julisha Biggs, 20, of Omaha, to 87 months of imprisonment for her role in the conspiracy.

Following those sentences, Greer stated, “Criminals like these sentenced today are more concerned with their own greed than the horrific circumstances they seek to expose minors to. This sentencing should send a strong message that HSI and our law enforcement partners are committed to seeking, dismantling and bringing to justice those who seek to perpetrate sex trafficking and child exploitation crimes against minors.”

Law enforcement began investigating the trio in September 2020 after discovering electronic messages between a minor female and Turner during a separate sex trafficking investigation. The minor female was interviewed and reported that she had been sex trafficked by Turner for approximately three months and that Turner had kept money from the sex sales. In October 2020, a second minor female reported that she had been sexually assaulted by a man in a hotel room after Turner brought her to the hotel and paid her to meet with the man. In November 2020, a third minor female was reported missing from her foster home and law enforcement observed that she was being posted in online sex advertisements with a phone number associated with Turner.

Law enforcement uncovered evidence that showed Marker met Turner while Turner was serving a state sentence and Marker was employed as a case worker in the same correctional facility. Marker went on to work as a foster care specialist and family support specialist.

After Turner’s release from prison, Marker, Turner and Biggs resided together in an apartment in Ralston, Nebraska. Turner recruited, advertised and arranged commercial sex sales of minors between approximately January 2020 and February 2021. The sex sales took place at hotels in and around Omaha, as well as at the apartment Marker leased. At least one of the minors also stayed at the apartment for a period of time. Marker provided vehicles to transport the minors to hotels for commercial sex acts and assisted with renting hotel rooms. Biggs recruited the minor who was reported missing in November 2020 to work for Turner.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

This case was investigated by HSI, the Omaha Police Department and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats — specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Learn more about HSI’s child exploitation mission, on Twitter @HSIKansasCity.

Updated: 11/14/2022