Home San Diego Press Releases 2009 Indictment Unsealed Charging Nine with Sex Trafficking of Children

Indictment Unsealed Charging Nine with Sex Trafficking of Children

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 15, 2009
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that Malcolm Jamal Allen, Ama Bahati Bernard, Devon Leontae Sutton, Birdia Rollins, Nicole Brook Tierney, Vincent Windsor Heimstra, Dominique Cortez Little, Joseph Anthony Ponder, and Alexandra Grove, have been charged in a previously sealed six-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury on December 4, 2009, with Conspiracy to Violate Sex Trafficking of Children and by Force, Fraud and Coercion; Sex Trafficking of Children and by Force, Fraud and Coercion; Sexual Exploitation of a Child and Aiding and Abetting. The indictment was unsealed today before United States Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes. All defendants are currently in custody.

According to the indictment, the defendants are members, associates, or clients of a gang called “NWS” operating in the North San Diego County area and in the business of prostituting minor and adult females. The indictment alleges that NWS members use force, fraud, and coercion to conduct their illegal activities. The indictment further alleges a conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of children and by force, fraud, or coercion starting in January 2009 through November 2009, and alleges substantive counts of sex trafficking against individual defendants in January 2009, February 2009, September 2009, and November 2009. Three of the defendants were charged with sexual exploitation of a child.

The next appearance for all defendants is currently scheduled for January 11, 2010 at 2:00 p.m., before District Judge Michael M. Anello for motion hearing and trial setting. Five of the defendants will be in court on December 17, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. for a detention hearing before Magistrate Judge Jan M. Adler.

This case stems from an investigation by the Oceanside Police Department, Escondido Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Human Trafficking Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and assisted by the United States Marshals Service, Carlsbad Police Department, North County Gang Task Force, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department - Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Team, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and San Diego County Jurisdictions United For Drug and Gang Enforcement (JUDGE) Task Force.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov

Case No. 09CR4389-MMA

DEFENDANTS

  • Malcolm Jamal Allen aka “King Show Tyme”
  • Ama Bahati Bernard aka “Spanc”
  • Devon Leontae Sutton aka “Young Fe”
  • Birdia Rollins aka “Keisha” aka “Toni”
  • Nicole Brook Tierney
  • Vincent Windsor Heimstra
  • Dominique Cortez Little aka “C-Marley” aka “Junior Show Tyme”
  • Joseph Anthony Ponder aka “Scrappy B” aka “Little Scraps”
  • Alexandra Grove aka “Allie”

SUMMARY OF CHARGES Title 18, United States Code, Section 1594 (Conspiracy to Violate Sex Trafficking of Children and by Force, Fraud and Coercion) Maximum Penalty: life in prison, $250,000 fine, a minimum of 5 years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and registration as a sex offender.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1591 ( Sex Trafficking of Children and by Force, Fraud and Coercion) Maximum Penalty: life in prison with a 10 or 15-year mandatory minimum sentence, $250,000 fine, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and registration as a sex offender.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 2251 (Sexual Exploitation of a Child) Maximum Penalty: 30 years in prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence, $250,000 fine, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and registration as a sex offender.

AGENCIES

  • Oceanside Police Department
  • Escondido Police Department
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Human Trafficking Division
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • United States Marshals Service
  • Carlsbad Police Department
  • North County Gang Task Force
  • Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, SAFE Team
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
  • San Diego County JUDGE Task Force

An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crime charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the United States meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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