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

DELMARVANOW STAFF REPORT

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...

Tougher laws, more services for human trafficking victims sought in Howard County

By Fatimah Waseem

May 22, 2017, 1:54 PM

A 21-year-old human trafficking victim sat unnoticed in a waiting room in Howard County General Hospital nearly three years ago with her trafficker, Rowland Duffey, to get insulin.

Local police called him a Romeo.

Court records show Duffey lured the 21-year-old with promises of a romantic relationship. Her father had just died and she thought Duffey "seemed like a nice guy"; she fell asleep after they watched a movie in a van outside her uncle's house, according to court records.

The victim woke up in an unknown hotel at an unknown location...

Laurel man faces 50-year prison sentence for human trafficking

Arthur Coleman, 46, of Larchdale Road, Laurel, was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking, prostitution and other sex-related offenses.

Arthur Coleman, 46, of Larchdale Road, Laurel, was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking, prostitution and other sex-related offenses.

By Andrew Michaels

Howard County Times

May 9, 2017, 10:09 AM

A Laurel man, who is a registered sex offender, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the human trafficking and prostitution of two teenage girls in Howard County.

Arthur Billy Coleman, 47, was sentenced in Howard County Circuit Court on May 5, following his guilty plea to charges of human trafficking, attempted human trafficking and prostitution during his January trial.

Circuit Court Judge Mary Kramer sentenced Coleman to two 20-year consecutive terms for two counts of human trafficking of a minor, a concurrent 20 years for operating a prostitution business and a 10-year consecutive term for prostitution under the age of 16.

According to the Howard County State's Attorney's Office, the two girls, ages 13 and 16, were foster children who ran away from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. Howard County police began their investigation into Coleman's acts last July when an undercover female detective saw prostitution ads online that were posted by the 13-year-old girl...

Maryland Couple Injected Teen with Heroin and Forced Her into Prostitution: Police

BY CHRIS HARRIS•@CHRISHARRISMENT

POSTED ON APRIL 20, 2017 AT 2:51PM EDT

A Maryland couple is facing human trafficking and child abuse charges after authorities have accused them of injecting a 15-year-old girl with heroin and forcing her into prostitution.

PEOPLE obtained a statement from the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, which confirms Darlene Louise Allen, 35, of Federalsburg, and Paul Thomas Owen, 26, of Greensboro, were arrested on April 4.

Authorities began investigating the couple in early January after receiving a tip about the alleged abuse. The statement reveals Allen and Owen allegedly injected the teenage victim with heroin numerous times, and investigators have also accused Owen of having sex with the girl...

Bishops say church committed to addressing ‘scourge’ of human trafficking

By Catholic News Service • Posted April 6, 2017

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CNS) — Decrying “the evil of human trafficking” as an “international, national and local scourge,” three Catholic bishops whose dioceses cover portions of Maryland said their state “is not immune from this tragic reality.”

“Our state is a prime location for local, national and international trafficking due to the Interstate 95 corridor that connects multiple major cities in the region, the number of truck and rest stops along highways, and the ease of travel that the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport,” they said in an April 3 statement.

“As people of faith, this grave injustice cries out for a response,” they said. “Yet perhaps the most distressing aspect of human trafficking is the cloak of silence gripping its victims.”...

Maryland Catholic Bishops issue joint statement on human trafficking

Monday, April 03, 2017 1:22 PM

The Catholic bishops in Maryland issued a joint statement April 3 on human trafficking, titled ‘Proclaiming Liberty to Captives,” and announced that the Catholic Church in Maryland will sponsor a series of information sessions throughout the state to address the issue.

The statement is from Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl,  and Wilmington Bishop W. Francis Malooly.

Here is the text of that statement: 

The evil of human trafficking is an international, national and local scourge, and a grave violation of the dignity and freedom of all its victims. Human trafficking includes both labor and sex trafficking, and rivals the global drug industry in its scope and profits, affecting the lives of countless victims from all over the world. The U.S. State Department estimates that an alarming 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across nations’ borders worldwide, with 14,500 to 17,500 people trafficked into the United States each year...

Maryland bishops join fight against human trafficking, announce training sessions

April 03, 2017

By Catholic Review Staff

The Catholic bishops in Maryland have announced their full support for efforts to combat human trafficking, which, according to State Department estimates, results in 14,500 to 17,500 people being trafficked into the U.S. each year.

“As people of faith, this grave injustice cries out for a response,” Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori; Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl; and Wilmington Bishop W. Francis Malooly said in a statement, “Proclaiming Liberty to Captives,” released April 3.

The statement noted that Maryland – due to its Interstate 95 corridor connecting major cities, truck and rest stops along highways, and the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport – is a prime location for trafficking, often referred to as modern-day slavery.

In 2014, 396 survivors received services from the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force’s Victims Services Committee...

Maryland man pleads guilty to human trafficking

POSTED 8:38 PM, MARCH 30, 2017, BY DIANA DIGANGI

BALTIMORE, Md. — A Maryland man pleaded guilty on Thursday to illegal possession of firearms as well as a charge of enticing and coercing women across state lines to engage in prostitution.

Jason David Young, 33, who goes by the aliases Bird, J Bird, and Chris, will be sentenced to 20 years in prison if court accepts his plea agreement. This sentence would be followed by five years of supervised release. Young will be sentenced on June 16 of this year — he has been in prison since his arrest in October 2015.

According to his plea agreement, Young admitted that he transported women across state lines for the purpose of prostitution, testifying in January 2015, that he drove two women to Tennessee to engage in commercial sex acts. He said he rented hotel rooms and several online advertisements were posted to recruit customers...

Howard police: Traffic stop leads to human trafficking arrest

William O. Murray, 29, was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking and prostitution, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said, and later released from the county jail on $15,000 bond. (Howard County Police)

William O. Murray, 29, was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking and prostitution, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said, and later released from the county jail on $15,000 bond. (Howard County Police)

By Andrew Michaels

Howard County Times

March 24, 2017, 3:55 PM

A Pikesville man was arrested during a traffic stop early Thursday morning when Howard police learned that he was allegedly trafficking as many as nine women for prostitution.

William O. Murray, 29, was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking and prostitution, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said, and later released from the county jail on $15,000 bond.

Around 1:30 a.m. on March 23 near Snowden River Parkway and Route 108 in Columbia, police said, officers stopped Murray, who they said looked like he was having a drug-related medical emergency.

As officers prepared to take Murray to the hospital, they also found a 34-year-old female passenger in the car, Llewellyn said, who they believed to be a human trafficking victim...

ICE HSI agents in Maryland fight human trafficking

03/17/2017

Photos courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Photos courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Photos courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Photos courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

BALTIMORE, Md. – Two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were recognized by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan for their efforts in preventing human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals are forced to provide labor or services, at a ceremony yesterday held at the Maryland State House.

Photos courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Photos courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Special Agent Vaughn Harper and Special Agent Cara Rose, both reporting to the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) regional office in Baltimore, Maryland, were presented with citations after providing key human trafficking prevention training to thousands of individuals in Maryland representing federal, state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, faith-based groups and governmental and non-governmental organizations...

Proposed bill would crack down on illegal massage parlors in Howard County

A proposal would help the Howard County Police Department, headquartered in Ellicott City, to target massage establishments suspected of illegal activity. ((Fatimah Waseem/Baltimore Sun Media)

A proposal would help the Howard County Police Department, headquartered in Ellicott City, to target massage establishments suspected of illegal activity. ((Fatimah Waseem/Baltimore Sun Media)

By Fatimah Waseem

Howard County Times

March 1, 2017, 6:00 AM

In an effort to curb prostitution and human trafficking, a bill before the Howard County Council would expand the Howard County Police Department's ability to crack down on illegal massage parlors.

Proposed by Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and Councilman Jon Weinstein, the bill would allow local police to enter massage parlors at any time during business or operating hours to ensure the establishment is licensed by the state...

Human trafficking victims file suit against Salisbury hotel

By: Danielle Jackson 

Posted: Feb 27, 2017 07:01 PM EST

Updated: Feb 27, 2017 07:01 PM EST

SALISBURY, Md. - A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of victims of a human trafficking ring that happened in Salisbury almost three years ago.

Online court records show lawsuits have been filed against Americas Best Value Inn. The lawsuits allege that the hotel knew or should have known about the trafficking ring...

Human-trafficking victims sue Salisbury hotel

Jeremy Cox , jcox6@dmg.gannett.com

Published 3:35 p.m. ET Feb. 24, 2017 | Updated 2:34 p.m. ET Feb. 27, 2017

An exterior view of America's Best Value Inn on North Salisbury Boulevard on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.  (Photo: Staff photo by Ralph Musthaler)

An exterior view of America's Best Value Inn on North Salisbury Boulevard on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.  (Photo: Staff photo by Ralph Musthaler)

One by one, they were plucked off the street, and their captors would plunge them, against their will, into the sordid business of prostitution.

The human-trafficking ring's leaders would dress them in lingerie and take their photographs inside rooms at a Salisbury hotel barely three blocks away from a Maryland State Police barrack. The pictures were immediately posted to the internet, advertising the women to would-be johns under pseudonyms such as "Sugar" and "Sunshine."

Business was brisk, but the women held captive were never paid...