Sacramento, California - Tion Makeise Foster, 22, of Point Arena, pleaded guilty Wednesday to sex trafficking of a minor, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Foster and co-defendant Monica Merlin Morales, 26, also of Point Arena, transported a 16‑year-old female victim to various places in the Eastern District of California and the San Francisco Bay Area in August 2016 so that she could engage in commercial sex acts for their financial benefit. They allegedly conspired to traffic her again in November and December that same year.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Beckwith is prosecuting the case.
Foster is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on April 18, 2018. Foster faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Charges are pending against Morales. The charges against her are only allegations; she is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.