Louisiana Man Sent to Federal Prison for Transporting Minors for Prostitution
Dmarcus Ward Took Juveniles to Alabama and Back to Georgia, Advertising Them on the Internet for Commercial Sex Acts
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 31, 2011|
ATLANTA—DMARCUS ANTWAIN WARD, 26, of Minden, Louisiana, was sentenced to federal prison today for transporting individuals across state lines for purposes of prostitution.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “Atlanta is earning the unfortunate distinction as a center of human trafficking of all kinds, and this case demonstrates the tragic harms to our children and our community that results from sex trafficking of minors. The sentence against this defendant is a step toward removing this activity from our community. Our work against child sex trafficking will continue until this problem is eliminated.”
FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin said, “In combating the child prostitution industry, the FBI's main objectives are to go after those that exploit these children as well as the recovery of those children being exploited. We have accomplished both of those objectives in this case and feel that whenever we can take an individual like Dmarcus Ward off of the streets, we have made progress in our efforts to protect our children from those who would subject them to such a terrible form of human trafficking.”
WARD was sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $2,600. He was also ordered to perform 150 hours of community service. WARD pleaded guilty to the charges on September 1, 2010.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: WARD pleaded guilty to transporting a victim identified in court documents only as “J.F.,” from Atlanta, Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama and back again for the purpose of causing her to engage in prostitution. WARD took all of the money earned by J.F. during the approximately 10 days that she was with him. During that ten-day period, J.F. was 17 years old, thus, unable to consent to engage in prostitution. WARD posted photos of J.F. on an Internet website advertising “dates” with J.F., whom he had given the work name of “Passion.” WARD gave J.F. a pre-paid cell phone to stay in touch with him, paid for the hotel rooms, and provided her condoms to use. As part of his abusive behavior toward the victim, WARD ordered J.F. to call him “Boss,” and also had sexual relations with J.F. himself.
At today’s sentencing hearing, the court also found in relevant conduct that WARD had transported another victim, a 14-year-old runaway identified in court documents only as “A.J.,” for the purpose of prostitution. WARD met A.J. on a toll-free “chat line” and after a number of conversations, coerced her into going to Alabama with him. WARD again posted advertisements on an Internet website, and upon returning to Georgia with A.J., began to rent hotel and motel rooms for A.J. in Tucker and Marietta for prostitution. A.J. gave all the money she earned to WARD, who also ordered that A.J. could not leave the motel room. WARD continued to closely watch A.J. and left the room only when customers came to the hotel. WARD also had sexual relations with A.J.
This case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes the Atlanta Police Department, Gwinnett County Police Department, City of Marietta Police Department, and Sandy Springs Police Department, and additional assistance from the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana.
Anyone with information about human trafficking is encouraged to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 404-679-9000.
Assistant United States Attorney Susan Coppedge prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.