Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two men–one of them a city firefighter–are facing federal charges. Prosecutors say they were caught running a prostitution ring.
As Gigi Barnett explains, the illegal business allegedly involved a minor.
Jamar Simmons, a Baltimore firefighter, and Franklin Coit, 33, face federal charges. Both men are accused of running a prostitution ring. Federal prosecutors say the business used underaged women.
“If you run a prostitution business, it’s bad enough. If you have somebody under 18 involved in that prostitution business, you face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison,” said Rod Rosenstein.
U.S. attorney Rod Rosenstein says the men based their prostitution ring out of a former warehouse on South Pulaski Street. It’s a crime Simmons, 30, has faced before. Back in 2010, Baltimore County detectives responded to a prostitution ad posted by Simmons. The firefighter received a one-year probation sentence and a $300 fine, but he kept his job.
Now Rosenstein says his office is aggressively pursuing sex trafficking crimes, especially those involving teens and children.
“Any case in which someone under 18 has been recruited to be a prostitute or advertised on the Internet as a prostitute, those cases are going to receive the highest priority of attention from the federal government,” Rosenstein said.
According to court documents, Simmons posted a $50,000 bond and was released.
The fire department has since suspended Simmons without pay pending an internal investigation.