GALVESTON, Texas – A jury sitting in Galveston has returned guilty verdicts against a Galveston man on one charge of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and four counts of sex trafficking of minors, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The jury convicted Charles Devan Fulton Sr., 39, late yesterday following a six-day trial and approximately four hours of deliberation.
Co-defendants Charmell Latonya Potts, 31, Dominique Warner, 23, and Lawrence James Julian, 22, all of Galveston, previously pleaded guilty.
The jury found Fulton engaged in a conspiracy with the others between June 1, 2014, through April 1, 2015, in which they engaged in conspiracy to recruit, entice and harbor minors to engage in sex trafficking. Fulton aka “Black” or “Blacc,” was the leader of the group and ordered Potts to post pictures of two of the identified minor victims in prostitution ads on line. Warner aka “Meathead,” Julian aka “Wolf” and Potts also drove the minor females to hotels where the minors would engage in commercial sex acts.
The jury heard that the minors engaged in hundreds of commercial sex acts over the course of the conspiracy. The victims testified at trial, as did Potts, that Fulton would keep the money the children earned performing commercial sex acts. The jury also heard that Fulton used force, threats of force, fraud or coercion against two of the victims. In addition, testimony revealed Fulton had sex with the victims knowing they were minors, that he provided them with drugs and he had no legitimate source of income.
Fulton attempted to convey his innocence and that police were just out to get him. The jury was not convinced and found him guilty on five counts.
Fulton faces up to life in prison and is set for sentencing in October 2016. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The FBI and the Galveston Police Department investigated with the assistance of the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sherri Zack and Julie Searle prosecuted the case.
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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."