DALLAS - Shenandoah West Moneypenny, 34, of Gladewater, Texas, and Shawn Dale Sanders, 43, of Dallas, Texas, remain in federal custody on a federal criminal complaint for the sex trafficking of a 13-year-old female, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.
Moneypenny and Sanders 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 a visual depiction of such conduct. Both defendants were arrested on December 18, 2017 and will remain in federal custody pending trial.
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.
During an interview with law enforcement, according to the affidavit, Victim disclosed that she had sexual contact with up to four adult men who she met online. When asked how she came to communicate with these men, Victim stated that she met a man online named "Aiden" and he put her in contact with other men to "meet up."
Aiden, who was later identified as Moneypenny, began to set up in-person meets for her through Craigslist advertisements that he placed. These advertisements sought men to meet Victim for sex.
Responses to the Craigslist ads went directly to Moneypenny's email account and, once he deemed the responder to be safe for Victim to meet, Moneypenny provided Victim with their contact information.
In August 2017, Victim met Sanders in response to the Craigslist ad. Sanders picked Victim 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 Victim and sent them to Moneypenny as a trade-off for setting him up with the Victim. Sanders and Victim 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.
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 case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Led by U.S. Attorney's Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood leverages federal, state and local resources to better investigate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children. Project Safe Childhood also prioritizes identifying and rescuing victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab "resources."
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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