East St. Louis man charged in federal court with child sex trafficking

EAST ST. LOUIS — The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, has announced that a federal Grand Jury returned a four-count indictment charging a 38-year-old East St. Louis man with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child and three counts of child sex trafficking.

Michael Johnson, also known as “Daddy Tru,” and “Tru,” was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud, and coercion, and on three counts of sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud, and coercion.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Division, and members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, Fairview Heights. Assistant United States Attorney Monica A. Stump is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit projectsafechildhood.gov.