Reporting Gigi Barnett
LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ) — A Baltimore City police officer faces some serious charges after investigators catch him in a prostitution sting, and his alleged partner in the business was his wife.
Gigi Barnett has more.
The FBI is also investigating this case. That’s because the city officer was also charged with human trafficking.
On the Baltimore police force for less than a year, Officer Lamin Manneh now faces prostitution and human trafficking charges.
According to charging documents, he and his wife, 19-year-old Marissa Braun, owned an Internet escort business. That caught the attention of detectives Thursday night.
“They came across this posting where this young woman was posting her services,” said Elena Russo, Maryland State Police.
And according to charging documents obtained by WJZ, she described herself as petite, lovely, sweet and 19 years old.
Detectives asked to hook up at an Anne Arundel County hotel. The escort agreed, and when she arrived, undercover officers say Braun offered them protected sex for $100.
Investigators charged the pair with human trafficking because Braun looked so young:
“In this case, the young girl looked as if she were underage. But when they did identify Braun, she was 19-years-old,” Russo said.
Police say just as they were arresting Braun, she revealed to them that she wasn’t working alone, that her husband was waiting in the parking lot for her to come out and that the two had agreed upon the business arrangement.
“Police believe they were working sort of as a team, where he was waiting in the parking lot to solicit her call for service,” Russo said. “When police encountered Manneh in the parking lot, they learned he was part of the police force.”
The Baltimore Police Department says 31-year-old Manneh just graduated from the academy and was on his one year probationary period.
In a written statement to WJZ, Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez says:
“This allegation is a disgrace and embarrassment to every member – both current and retired – who serve with the Baltimore Police Department. The alleged actions and criminal charges brought against Mr. Manneh are serious and undermine the integrity and pride of this organization. We expect every member of this department to hold themselves to the highest of professional standards. Our colleagues and our community deserve nothing less.”
According to charging documents, Braun insists that her husband is not her pimp, but says he does give him her money and that he’s the one who drives her to meet up with her dates because she doesn’t know how.
The city police department says Manneh was suspended without pay until an investigation into the incident is finished.