MD Human Trafficking Task Force meets with Nigerian and Vietnamese Delegations

The World Trade Center Institute’s Professional Exchange Program introduced the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force to delegations from Nigeria and Vietnam. The delegations included high-ranking officials and foreign professionals that work on human trafficking issues in their respective countries. The delegations sought to enhance their knowledge of the task force’s work on prevention of human trafficking, protection of human trafficking survivors, and collaboration between law enforcement, prosecution, and NGO’s.

Human trafficking survivor describes forced labor ordeal in U.S.

Evelyn Chumbow of Cameroon says she was only nine years old when she was trafficked into forced labor in the Washington, D.C., area.

Chumbow, who's now in her mid-30s, says she was sold by her uncle to a woman from her home country of Cameroon who had a home and a business in the United States. She said she came to the United States with the expectation that a better life awaited her.

“The image that I had of the U.S. is completely from what I saw on television -- you know, '[The] Cosby Show' and '[The] Fresh Prince of Belair,' '[Beverly Hills], 90210' -- and so when I was told that I was going to come to the U.S. and be adopted and get a better education, I was excited,” Chumbow said in an interview with Hill.TV that aired Monday.

But she said that as soon as she arrived she was forced into domestic labor, working for eight years before she was able to escape with the help of Catholic groups. She said her captor is now in prison.

As many as 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year, according to the U.S. State Department.

Human trafficking has become a rare bipartisan issue on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) warned during a Sept. 26 congressional hearing that trafficking is even taking place in the U.S.

"We all need to wake up because human trafficking is happening right here in our backyard, and victims of traffic crime are often hidden in plain sight,” said McSally, who's running for Senate in Arizona this year.

Chumbow said she was held captive in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.

“I came and I became a slave right here in Maryland, not far from the Capitol. I was working, cooking and cleaning,” Chumbow said, adding that she believes she would have been saved earlier if someone in the community had notified the authorities.

“If you see something, say something. 'Cause a lot of neighbors saw me, I would have probably been rescued when I was 13 or 14," she said. "But nobody said anything.”

— Alison Spann

Police: Md. man drugs, rapes woman on first date, turns her into sex trafficking victim

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WJLA) - What was meant to be a casual first date catapulted a 24-year-old woman into a nearly 24-hour-long hellhole of roofies, human trafficking and illegal drug deliveries, Montgomery County police allege in court documents obtained by ABC7.

The initial connection started like so many do nowadays -- on a dating app. The app, called SKOUT, pairs strangers based on their phones' GPS coordinates.

According to police, the female victim matched with Kyle Hilliard, 30, of Gaithersburg, on Aug. 1. After messaging one another throughout the day, Hilliard suggested the victim take a Lyft to a home located along the 900 block of Wild Forest Drive in Gaithersburg. The victim obliged.

Investigators said the two drank alcohol and smoked pot before having consensual sex. It was then that Hilliard reportedly revealed he had recently gotten out of jail and made money by selling drugs. That confession frightened the victim. When she asked to leave, Hilliard allegedly grabbed the woman by the neck and firmly stated he now "owned" her and would use her to "make some money."

Finish reading the story at

Governor Larry Hogan Announces Statewide Anti-Human Trafficking Director

Baltimore Attorney Laurie Culkin to Assume Newly Created Position

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Laurie E. Culkin, an attorney and advocate on behalf of human trafficking victims, has been named as Maryland’s first Anti-Human Trafficking Director. This position, which will be housed within the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, will be responsible for coordinating supportive services for victims, as well as enforcement activities relating to human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a despicable crime and we are determined to root it out wherever it occurs in our state,” said Governor Hogan. “One of our most important responsibilities is to protect Maryland citizens, and this position is vital to establishing statewide coordination to prevent human trafficking and provide support for its victims.”

In August 2018, as part of a series of initiatives to combat human trafficking in Maryland, Governor Hogan announced the Anti-Human Trafficking Director position. He also announced a new Crime Research and Innovation Center; strengthened data collection; an updated identification protocol; $5 million in funding for anti-human trafficking efforts; and legislation to categorize felony human trafficking as a violent crime.

“Governor Hogan made it very clear that he didn’t want a person whose job was overseeing human trafficking along with other related duties,” said V. Glenn Fueston, Jr., GOCCP Executive Director. “He wanted someone whose only job was to track human trafficking and support its victims. Ms. Culkin will be laser-focused on this issue.”

“I am honored to join the Hogan administration as the Anti-Human Trafficking Director,” said Ms. Culkin. “The governor has made fighting human trafficking a priority and one in which he has focused his attention and resources. It is my honor to be a part of this effort.”

Ms. Culkin comes to the position from the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service in Baltimore, where she served as Human Traffic Prevention Project Coordinator. In that capacity, she led the design, implementation, and administration of the first human trafficking pro bono program in Maryland. She previously worked for Maryland Legal Aid, where she represented clients on domestic violence and family law matters. Her legal work also includes research on human trafficking, authoring numerous papers on the subject.

Ms. Culkin is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and an honors graduate from the State University of New York, University at Buffalo, where she studied Sociology and Health and Human Services. A native of New York, Ms. Culkin lives in Baltimore City.

West Virginia man charged with human trafficking for facilitating wife’s prostitution

Kate Scanlon Sep 11, 2017 7:10 pm

 A West Virginia man was charged with human trafficking after allegedly taking his wife to a hotel to engage in prostitution, the Herald-Mail Media reported. (John Moore/Getty Images)

A West Virginia man was charged with human trafficking after allegedly taking his wife to a hotel to engage in prostitution, the Herald-Mail Media reported. (John Moore/Getty Images)

A West Virginia man was charged with human trafficking after allegedly taking his wife to a hotel to engage in prostitution, the Herald-Mail Media reported.

Jason Daniel Hicks, 35, of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, was charged with one count of human trafficking, one count of second-degree assault and two counts of neglect of a minor, according to the Herald-Mail Media. He faces up to 30 years in prison. His wife, Heather Hicks, was charged with prostitution.

According to the report, Hagerstown, Maryland, police conducted an investigation into human trafficking and solicitation of prostitution in October 2016. Police set up “dates” with women at an unidentified motel using the website, which some use to solicit paid sex...

Shepherdstown man held without bail in prostitution sting

CJ Lovelace

Sep 1, 2017

A West Virginia man facing charges as a result of a prostitution sting in Hagerstown was ordered held without bail Friday in Washington County District Court.

Jason Daniel Hicks, 35, of Shepherdstown appeared via closed-circuit television before retired District Judge Robert Wilcox, who handed down the ruling during a bond-review hearing.

Wilcox said Hicks' status as a "frequent flyer" in the criminal-justice systems of several states, including a number of prior convictions, indicate that he is a danger to public safety.

Hicks faces one count of human trafficking, one count of second-degree assault and two counts of neglect of a minor, according to the statement of charges...

Human trafficking occurring in DC’s backyard

By Kate Ryan | @KateRyanWTOP

August 11, 2017 4:48 am

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Human trafficking is a global problem — with a local impact in Montgomery County.

And on Thursday, the county’s Human Trafficking Task Force and a State Department delegation discussed the challenges human trafficking raises.

Representatives from 19 countries — including Paraguay, India, Tanzania and the Czech Republic — heard from county leaders on the shared problems of dealing with human trafficking, including detecting trafficking operation rings and how to assist trafficking victims...

Baltimore Man Arrested At Laurel Hotel Connected To Latest Human Trafficking Case

Posted on August 4, 2017 by admin

Police arrested man in connection with a human trafficking case involving four women in Prince George’s and Howard counties. The arrest is part of a two-week investigation conducted by the Howard County Police Department.

Forty-three-year-old Kamal Germaine Dorchy faces multiple counts of human trafficking. He was arrested Wednesday and held without bond in the Howard County Jail, police announced.

In 2016, the department investigated 17 human trafficking cases and 16 in the past seven months...

Howard police arrest Baltimore man at Laurel motel in latest human trafficking case

By Andrew Michaels

Howard County Times

AUGUST 2, 2017, 4:40 PM

Howard police arrest Baltimore man at Laurel motel in latest human trafficking case

A Baltimore man was charged Wednesday with the human trafficking of four women in Howard and Prince George's counties following a nearly two-week investigation by Howard County police.

Kamal Germaine Dorchy, 43, faces multiple counts of human trafficking, the police announced. He is being held without bond at the Howard County jail.

This investigation is part of Howard County's ongoing efforts to stop prostitution and human trafficking. There have been almost as many human trafficking cases this year as there were in all of 2016...

Md. man charged with human trafficking via Backpage; 4 victims freed

by ABC7

Wednesday, August 2nd 2017

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (ABC7) — A Baltimore man has been charged by Howard County Police with forcing multiple females into prostitution using the website Backpage.

 Kamal Dorchy (Howard County Police Department)

Kamal Dorchy (Howard County Police Department)

Kamal Germaine Dorchy, 43, was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking after he was arrested in a motel room in Prince George’s County with three women believed to be victims, according to a statement from Howard County Police.

Police believe Dorchy controlled the females with physical assault, threats with a handgun, supplying them with drugs, and dictating when they could sleep and eat. He took their phones and had any calls and texts to them forwarded to his phone, police say...

Law Students In Maryland Help Human Trafficking Survivors Forget Their Past

Posted on July 9, 2017 by admin

A Prince George’s County woman tells about her experience as a human trafficking victim. She met up with a man who said he was a modeling agent, when she was just 19. He took her out of state, where they lived in a motel and she worked as a prostitute.

She eventually got into contact with a guardian who lived in Maryland. The guardian contacted a local police department and she was able to escape, but a prostitution conviction continued to plague her as she sought a new life...

University of Baltimore law students help trafficking victims escape their past

By Lorraine Mirabella

JULY 8, 2017, 8:29 AM

The Prince George's County woman still remembers the night a man in a black SUV stopped as she and a high school friend waited for a ride to a party. He told them he was a modeling agent, gave them his cell number and drove off.

A chronic runaway, the then 19-year-old soon met up with him, only to be cut off from family and later whisked to a hotel out of state where she was forced to work as a prostitute...

Third person charged with human trafficking of teen in Jessup

By Staff report

Howard County Times

JULY 7, 2017, 1:43 PM

Howard County police have charged a third person in connection to the alleged human trafficking of a 16-year-old girl, saying the woman helped two other people force the teen into prostitution at Jessup motels.

Jessica Lynn Smitherman, 31, of Laurel, was charged with human trafficking of a minor on June 30 and is being held at the county jail on $35,000 bond...

Howard County’s Message To Human Traffickers: ‘Prepare To Go To Jail’

July 7, 2017 11:15 PM By George Solis

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police in Howard County say there has been an increase in human sex trafficking activity that seems to be expanding nationwide.

In an effort to get ahead of the crime, the county is finding new ways to tackle the problem at its source.

From funding, to new laws, Howard County officials say they are using every resource at their disposal to warn criminals that human trafficking will not be tolerated...

State police fight human trafficking

JUNE 8, 2017, 3:11 PM

In their commentary regarding human trafficking ("Transportation officials have a role in human trafficking battle," June 7), the authors stated the "Maryland State Police should reach out to transportation authorities to include them in ongoing training conferences and coordination." Please be assured the Maryland State Police is already doing that and much more to combat human trafficking in our state.

Just today, our Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division (CVED) used FedEx Field to conduct surprise inspections of hundreds of commercial vehicles. During the operation, Maryland state troopers were handing out training DVDs and other materials to commercial drivers about how to identity human trafficking and where to report it...

Transportation officials have a role in human trafficking battle

By Madeleine Gleave, Alexandra Miller, Caitlin Sellers

JUNE 7, 2017, 12:30 PM

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery that exists in every corner of the world — even along our own highways in Maryland. Every day, thousands of people are forced by fear, fraud or coercion to work in commercial sex and labor markets with little hope of escape. According to the Polaris Project, a non-profit that runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were more than 7,500 human trafficking cases reported in the United States in 2016, including 602 in Maryland, making it the eighth highest state for trafficking in the nation. The majority of these were for sex trafficking. Countless more cases go unreported...

Human Trafficking Of Teen Sends 2 To Jail: Howard County Police

A Laurel man is being held without bail after officials allege he assaulted and drugged a teen, then forced her into prostitution in Jessup.

By Elizabeth Janney (Patch Staff) - Updated June 6, 2017 1:08 pm ET

JESSUP, MD — Officials say two people have been charged with human trafficking of a minor in Howard County. Police received a tip on May 31 that a man was offering a teen for money at Jessup area motels.

Andre Lamar Russell, 28, of Dulwick Court in Laurel, and Heather Lynn Harding, 23, of Woodbine Roadin Woodbine, were charged with human trafficking of a minor. 

Russell and Harding were at a motel in the 7500 block of Assateague Drive on June 1 when law enforcement followed up on the tip and upon investigation, found a 16-year-old girl in their motel room...

Fighting human trafficking in Howard County [Editorial]

By Editorial by the Howard County Times

Howard County Times

June 1, 2017, 12:25 PM

"Human trafficking is a threat to the human race, our economic, social, and moral values and we need to employ effective strategies to tackle this type of violence."

The U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking stated the obvious in that single sentence at the conclusion of its first report, published last October.

So what about those "effective strategies?"

Judging from the piecemeal approach to this "threat to the human race," at federal, state and county levels, the strategies have been middlingly effective, at best...

Victim Advocates Are Demanding Stricter Human Trafficking Laws

Posted on May 28, 2017 by admin

Nearly three years ago, in a Howard County General Hospital waiting room sit a human trafficking victim with her trafficker to get a prescription for insulin. Rowland Duffey, the victim’s trafficker, promised a romantic relationship to lure the 21-year-old victim.

Police dubbed him “Romeo”.

The young victim had just lost her father and thought her trafficker “seemed like a nice guy.” After falling asleep watching a movie with Duffey in a van, the victim woke up in an unfamiliar hotel, according to court records.

Duffey took her mobile phone and gave her a prepaid version, while demanding her to “answer anytime” he called. She was trafficked along the East Coast and in Columbia, court records show.

Duffey was eventually charged and found guilty of human trafficking.

In Howard County victims were once considered willing participants in the sex trade, but this case was a turning point...

Human trafficking bust in OC yields seven arrests


Published 6:07 p.m. ET May 24, 2017 | Updated 6:10 p.m. ET May 24, 2017

 Ocean City police said Wednesday, May 24, 2017 that these seven people were charged in connection with a human trafficking investigation. (photo: Image courtesy Ocean City police)

Ocean City police said Wednesday, May 24, 2017 that these seven people were charged in connection with a human trafficking investigation. (photo: Image courtesy Ocean City police)

Seven people were charged following an anti-human trafficking bust by law enforcement officials.

Ocean City police said Wednesday, May 24, that they recently conducted an investigation with assistance from the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations...