A Denton man has been convicted of child sex trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Following a day-long trial, a federal jury last night returned a guilty verdict against William Adam Jonathan Smith, convicting him of one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor and one count of sex trafficking of a minor.
According to evidence presented at court, Mr. Smith met and befriended the 17 year-old victim in the summer of 2019. He introduced her to Charity Cantu, his longtime girlfriend, who worked for him as a prostitute. Mr. Smith told Ms. Cantu that she was to groom and train the victim too make money for him providing commercial sex services.
From August thru October 2019, the victim accompanied Ms. Cantu to hotels in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas and engaged in commercial sex acts. All of the proceeds from the commercial sex acts performed by the victim were given to Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith, 31, now faces up to life in federal prison. His sentencing is set for Jan. 8, 2021 before U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth.
Ms. Cantu, 25, pleaded guilty in March to a racketeering charge. In court documents, she admitted that although she knew the victim was a minor, Ms. Cantu groomed the girl for commercial sex and posted ads for her sexual services online. Ms. Cantu testified at Mr. Smith’s trial and is slated to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman on Sept. 24, 2019.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Denton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Doug Allen and Brandie Wade tried the case.
CHARGED – WILLIAM ADAM JONATHAN SMITH aka “Detroit”
On April 22, William Adam Jonathan Smith, 30, was charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to engage in child sex trafficking. During an anti-human trafficking sting, agents encountered a juvenile female as well as an adult female, Charity Cantu, engage in prostitution. In a subsequent interview, Cantu admitted that at the direction of Smith she assisted grooming the minor into a commercial sex worker. Smith rented hotel rooms for commercial sex work with commercial sex clients and receive all the compensation that the minor made.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence, and like all defendants, Smith is innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. Smith faces up to life in federal custody. This case was investigated by HSI, Texas Attorney General’s Office, and Denton Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Allen.
SENTENCING – MCKINNLEY BRIAN HOBBS aka “Coach”
On April 17, McKinnley Hobbs, 39, was sentenced to 77 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Hobbs helped coordinate the delivery and distribution of cocaine to persons known and unknown throughout the Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by the Dallas Police Department and the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phelesa Guy.
SENTENCING – TROY ANYHONY PEEBLES
On April 22, Troy Anthony Peebles, 47, was sentenced via video teleconference to six months (time served) for impersonation of an officer or employee of the United States. Peebles admits that following a flight from Belize to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers conducted a routine screening, only to discover contraband in his luggage. Claiming to be a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Services, Peebles flashed a faux badge and attempted to proceed through the checkpoint. Prosecutors revealed a subsequent search of Peebles’ phone revealed photos of him dressed in a “federal agent” jacket and fraternizing with state and local law enforcement officers. This case was investigated by the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Dana.
SENTENCING – TARA TENISE JONES
On April 22, Tara Tenise Jones, 38, was sentenced to 15 months in federal custody for felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in a school zone. Previously convicted of a felony, Jones unlawfully possessed a .40 caliber Magnum Research Deseret Eagle. She admitted to carrying the firearm onto the grounds of Thompson Elementary school in Mesquite, Texas. This case was investigated by Mesquite Police Department and the ATF and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Boyle.