Rochester Men Charged with Sex Trafficking Minors
ROCHESTER, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Andre L. Barnes, 39, and Christopher N. Johnson, Jr., 29, both of Rochester, NY, were arrested charged by a criminal complaint with conspiracy to sex traffic minors and sex trafficking of minors. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $1,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Marangola, who is handling the case the case, stated that the according the complaint, Barnes and Johnson began working together in 2010 to sex traffic minors. Their conspiracy continued until July 2013 at which time Barnes went to prison for assaulting one of the prostitutes that he is charged with trafficking in this case. The complaint alleges that Johnson has continued to sex traffic minors and adults by posting advertisements on Backpage.com.
The defendants made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman. Barnes, who is currently serving a prison term on a state conviction, is due in court on September 25, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. to determine where he will be detained while the charges are pending. Johnson was detained and will return to court on September 29, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. for a detention hearing.
The arrest was the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force which includes the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the Rochester Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.