Tennessee Man Charged in Connection with Sex Trafficking Scheme
|U.S. Department of Justice August 20, 2010|
WASHINGTON—A federal grand jury in the Western District of Tennessee indicted Terrence Arnett Yarbrough, aka “T-Rex,” on four counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion against minor and adult female victims. Yarbrough, Michelle Johnson, and Norma Yarbrough Webb were additionally charged in the indictment with conspiracy to fraudulently obtain food stamps.
The charges include allegations of sex trafficking of two minor and two adult female victims, during the time period between June 2006 and August 2009. Specifically, the indictment alleges that through the use of force, fraud, and coercion, Yarbrough caused the women to commit commercial sex acts for his own financial benefit.
The conspiracy count alleges that on Sept. 26, 2009, and continuing until Feb. 28, 2010, Yarbrough, Johnson and Webb conspired to unlawfully acquire and possess food stamp coupons, authorization cards, and access devices. According to the indictment, while Yarbrough was incarcerated in Lincoln City, Mo., he conspired with Webb to apply for food stamp benefits on his behalf. Webb then submitted an application to the Tennessee Department of Human Services that stated that Yarbrough resided at a particular address in Memphis, Tenn. The indictment also alleges that Johnson used the fraudulently obtained benefits to purchase food at various stores in Missouri. The food stamps, authorization cards, and access devices were valued between $100 and $5,000, and were used to support the female victims.
If convicted of sex trafficking, Yarbrough could face a maximum sentence of life in prison. If convicted of conspiracy, Yarbrough could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
The case is being investigated by the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Parker from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee, and Jonathan Skrmetti, a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.