Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery and it’s happening across the U.S., including in Maryland. Baltimore is considered a hub as it’s along the I-95 corridor which is used by traffickers to move victims across state lines easily
Ryan Russell Parks, also known as “Dinero,” 26, of Baltimore, MD, trafficked both a 15 and 16-year-old girl, prosecutors said. Parks used online ads with photos of the girls and descriptions of them for commercial sex acts.
Uber, a ride-sharing service, trained its drivers in Baltimore, MD, to spot possible signs of human trafficking. Uber partnered with the Polaris Project, a non-profit that fights human trafficking and runs a national hotline. Polaris said there were more than 650 sex trafficking cases reported to their hotline in Maryland between December 2007 and June 2018.
De’Angelo Johnson, otherwise known as “Cowboy” or “D”, age 31, of Maryland, faces federal indictment charges for sex trafficking and distribution of heroin and cocaine that may have occurred August 2018 through May 2019.
Valdez Lawrence, 34, of Baltimore, MD, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in human trafficking and five counts of human trafficking. Police interviewed several victims who said they worked for Lawrence and discovered how he ran the trafficking operation.
Authorities in Baltimore, MD, said they shut down a brothel, made four arrests and rescued two victims. Edward Sanchez, Gladys Luna-Hernandez, Jose Arevalo and Julio Galvan were arrested and charged with human trafficking and prostitution. The victims were immediately placed in safe housing.
Aldridge, Lankford and Murphy rented hotel rooms for the woman to engage in commercial sex acts, as well as transporting the woman to “out calls” to hotel rooms and other locations to engage in commercial sex acts, including transporting her across state lines. Aldridge allegedly provided narcotics, including heroin, to the woman to recruit, entice and maintain the woman throughout the course of her engaging in commercial sex acts.
According to evidence presented at his trial, Parks trafficked two vulnerable minor victims— a 16-year-old girl (Girl 1) and a 15-year-old girl (Girl 2) for commercial sex. According to trial testimony, Parks met Girl 1 online. During their communications, he learned that she was hungry and had no real place to live. He offered her a place to stay. Parks sent a car to pick the girl up, and within a day, had advertisements posted on a website that marketed commercial sex workers.
Officials from the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force focused on individuals who possessed, manufactured or distributed child pornography, or engaged in online enticement of children for sexual purposes as well as child prostitution and human trafficking.
“Children cannot consent to have sex for money, and any adult, like this defendant, who encourages or profits from sexual exploitation of children faces a lengthy term in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur.
Harry Eugene Rivers Jr., 29 of Delaware will spend 12 years in prison for forcing a 15-year-old girl to have sex with men at motels in Newark and Elkton, Md. He was sentenced in federal court Friday after pleading guilty to sex trafficking earlier this year. He could have faced up to life in prison.
Bringing a halt to human trafficking needs help from the public, which must learn to “see the unseen,” an anti-trafficking advocate recently told church members here. Civilian training is the first step, said Rebecca McDonald, founder and president of Women at Risk, International (WAR), a Michigan-based non-profit organization that works to provide protection to those at risk, for the event.
Donna Bruce in her late 30s and teaching about 20 students the physiology of hair, a passion of hers since she was young. What they didn’t know, or she didn’t think they knew, was her past. When she was a teenager, her mom trafficked her for drugs and money.
Regardless three weeks after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared war on human trafficking, the Rockville, MD. prosecutors opinion is “And I do have concerns about potential for flight risk and danger to the community.”
In Bethseda, MD. Marriott International today announced that, as of this month, it has successfully trained 500,000 hotel workers to spot the signs of human trafficking in its hotels and how to respond if they do, marking a watershed moment in the global fight against this multinational crime. Sheraton Times Square hotel workers learn signs of human trafficking as part of Marriott International’s mandatory awareness training.
“Many of our clients have been charged with crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers, or that their traffickers committed,” said San Diego attorney Jamie Quient, who started Free to Thrive last year. “They rarely speak up at the time for many reasons. Among them, they would rather serve time than cross their traffickers. They also don’t think they will be believed if they do speak up. As a result, society labels these victims as criminals.”
A man who used a combination of marijuana and the drug “molly” to keep a 16-year-old drugged so that he could use her for sex trafficking has been sentenced to four years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. said.