PHOENIX – LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – Uawndre Fields, 31, of San Diego, and DePaul Brooks, 27, of National City, Calif., were found guilty by a federal jury of two counts of Child Sex Trafficking and two counts of Interstate Transportation of a Minor for Prostitution. The two victims, aged 15 and 16 at the time, ran away from a juvenile detention facility in Scottsdale, Ariz. in April 2006. The victims met the defendants at a motel in Mesa, Ariz. and were convinced to work as prostitutes for Fields. A third defendant, Julia Fonteneaux, 23, of San Diego, pleaded guilty to her role in the offense and testified at the trial. All three had been indicted in April 2007 after a joint investigation by the FBI and the Phoenix Police Department.
Fields and Brooks took the girls to San Diego, where the girls were posted on Craigslist.org, and one of the juveniles committed acts of prostitution. Five days later, the girls were brought back to Phoenix, to continue working as prostitutes to earn money to enable the group to travel to Seattle. Their ordeal lasted from April 22 – 29, 2006. At the time, the victims were returned to juvenile detention and ultimately rejoined their families.
The trial was held between January 31 and February 6, 2008. Sentencing is set for May 5, 2008 in front of U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell, at which time they face a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison for each count of Child Sex Trafficking and a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for each count of Interstate Transportation of a Minor for Prostitution. They could also be fined $250,000 for each count. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Campbell will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
The case was jointly investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Phoenix Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Tracey Bardorf, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-07-411-PHX-DCG
RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-024(Brooks et al)