Gladewater man in federal custody for sex trafficking middle school girl

Gladewater man in federal custody for sex trafficking middle school girl

(KLTV) - Two men, including one from Gladewater, are in federal custody on a federal criminal complaint for the sex trafficking of a 13-year-old.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas says that Shenandoah West Moneypenny, 34, of Gladewater, Texas, and Shawn Dale Sanders, 43, of Dallas, Texas, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing picture or video content of the act. Both men were arrested on December 18 and will remain in federal custody pending trial, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas says.

According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, in October 2017, a family member of a 13-year-old minor female (Victim) contacted a Garland Independent School District School Resource Officer after finding communications on the minor's laptop computer between Victim and adult males. The family brought the laptop computer and Victim's cellular phone to the School Resource Officer, who previewed the devices and observed sexually explicit communications.

According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, the 13-year-old victim said that she had had sexual contact with up to four adult men she had met online. She stated that she met the men through a man online named "Aiden" and he put her in contact with other men to "meet up." Adien, later identified as Moneypenny of Gladewater, began to set up in-person meetings for her through Craigslist ads he placed. These ads sought men who wanted to meet the girl for sex. Responses to the ads went directly to Moneypenny's email account, Cox says, and once he deemed the responder safe for her to meet, he gave the girl the man's contact info. 

In August 2017, the 13 year old met Shawn Dale Sanders in response to the Craigslist ad. Sanders picked her up from the middle school and drove her to a local park where they had sexual conduct. During this meeting, Sanders took sexually explicit pictures of the girl and sent them to Moneypenny as a trade-off for setting him up with the victim. Sanders and the girl met approximately four times after that and engaged in sexual conduct.

Moneypenny received a total of 219 replies to the Craigslist advertisement, including Sanders' reply.

Moneypenny is being held without bond.

A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The penalty for the offense as charged is not less than 15 years or more than 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Garland Police Department are investigating.  Assistant U.S. Attorney P.J. Meitl is in charge of the prosecution.

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