AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – An Augusta woman has pled guilty in a child sex trafficking conspiracy.
34-year-old Amanda Gunn, aka Amanda Howard, of Augusta faces one count of Sex Trafficking Conspiracy. She faces 15 years to life in prison with no chance of parole.
“As this disturbing case continues to move forward, we continue to be determined to find justice for the victim and hold accountable those guilty of this horrific exploitation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David H. Estes. “This plea is an unmistakable message that our law enforcement partners established a significant and undeniable body of evidence establishing Amanda Gunn/Howard’s culpability.”
Gunn’s husband, 36-year-old Michael Gunn of Evans, currently awaits trial. He is charged with four counts of Production of Child Pornography and one count of Possession of Child Pornography. An indictment earlier this year added charges of Sex Trafficking Conspiracy, Sex Trafficking of a Child, Coercion and Enticement of a Child to Engage in Sexual Activity, and Obstruction of a Child Sex Trafficking Investigation.
“By pleading guilty, Amanda Gunn/Howard admits that she was involved in one of the most heinous crimes that we investigate as a law enforcement agency, and for that she will be punished,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI has zero tolerance for the sex trafficking of children and will continue to work tirelessly to protect children and to prosecute those involved in exploiting them.”
An FBI investigation in Texas led to Michael Gunn being found as a source of child pornography, with multiple images and videos of child exploitation being found on devices in his home.
Information obtained from Gunn by investigators also led them to 45-year-old Jonathan Eugene Grantham of Graniteville, S.C., who is now awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity. Grantham is a former Aiken County teacher who, in 2019, reportedly traveled to Columbia County to engage in sexual activity with a minor.
In his plea agreement, Grantham acknowledged contacting the victim through the Internet to coerce the victim “to engage in sexual activity for which the defendant could be charged with a criminal offense, that is, child molestation.”