Jury Convicts Houston, Tex. Man On Three Of Four Human Trafficking Counts

He could get a long time in prison when he’s sentenced.


Frederick, Md (KM). After nearly three hours of deliberations on Friday, a jury in Frederick County found a Houston, Texas man guilty of three of four counts of human trafficking, and one count of 2nd-degree sex offense. Thomas Duane Jones, 36, has been on trial all this week for bringing a 17-year-old girl into Maryland from Texas to prostitute her.

“We’re happy with the outcome,” said State’s Attorney Charlie Smith. “It’s a very, very terrible case to start out with and we’re happy he was convicted on at least a majority of the counts.”

Smith says no sentencing date has been scheduled. A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered which will look into Jones’ background such as his work history and any criminal convictions.

But Smith says Jones could get a substantial amount of time in jail. “He stands convicted of three of four of the human trafficking {counts} and each one of those carry a maximum sentence of 25 years. He’s facing another 20 years for the 2nd-degree rape. So he’s facing almost 100-years in prison if they were to aggregate,” he says.

Jones and co-defendant Marvin Bernard Armstrong, 47, of High Point, North Carolina, were arrested last year at the Super 8 Motel on Monocacy Boulevard in Frederick. They were charged with bringing the teenage girl into Maryland to prostitute her. She had been reported as a runaway.

Armstrong pleaded guilty in May to 2nd-degree assault and 1st-degree sex offense. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Jones denied he had sex with the girl, but Smith says a DNA expert determined that a swab taken from the victim’s body contained Jones’ DNA. The State also introduced jail calls where the defendant admitted to having sex with the victim.

The defense attorney had said her client’s charges were based on lies told by the girl. “That’s nonsense,” Smith responded. “It wasn’t based on lies the girl told. There was tons of corroborating evidence, including his cell phone records, jail calls, statements that he made to the co-defendant. So for the defense attorney to say that it was all based on lies is untrue.”


By Kevin McManus