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Baltimore man accused of sex trafficking and drug distribution

Posted at 12:09 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 12:14:45-04

BALTIMORE — A federal grand jury returned an indictment on Tuesday charging De’Angelo Johnson (a/k/a Cowboy, a/k/a D), age 31, of Maryland, with sex trafficking and distribution of heroin and cocaine.

According to the six-count indictment, from August 2018 through May 21, 2019, Johnson was a pimp, engaging in the business of recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, advertising, and maintaining women to engage in commercial sex acts for his own financial benefit. The indictment refers to five victims, all over the age of 18 and residents of Maryland, whom Johnson allegedly caused to engage in commercial sex acts for his own financial benefit, by means of force, fraud, and coercion.

If convicted, Johnson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of life in federal prison for each of five counts of sex trafficking. Johnson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for distribution of controlled substances. An initial appearance has not yet been scheduled in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Johnson remains detained on unrelated state charges.

The indictment alleges that Johnson routinely took half or all of the money the victims working for him had earned through sex acts and kept it for himself. Additionally, the indictment alleges that all of the sex trafficking victims suffered from serious substance abuse disorders, including addictions to heroin and crack cocaine. According to the indictment, Johnson sold narcotics including heroin and crack cocaine to the victims, who were required to pay him with whatever money they were permitted to retain from the sex acts they had performed. Johnson also was allegedly responsible for posting advertisements of the victims on websites that marketed commercial sex workers, often not allowing the victims to see or have access to the advertisements. Johnson allegedly communicated with potential sex customers regarding price, location, and all other logistics, often purporting to be the victim during these communications.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at later criminal proceedings.

Suspected instances of human trafficking can be reported to HSI’s tip line at 866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423) or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.