WINDSOR MILL, Md. (WJZ) — Sold for sex. An undercover police sting in Baltimore County uncovers a human trafficking operation. Most troubling of all–three teenage girls forced into prostitution.
Derek Valcourt has more on the charges and the suspects now in custody.
Police were expecting to nab adult prostitutes. Instead, they found young girls–one of them just 14-years-old.
Undercover officers set up at the Best Western in Windsor Mill and contacted suspected prostitutes who were advertising online. But detectives were stunned when three underage girls showed up in their room–just 14, 16 and 17 years old.
“One of the girls asked for money, then all three girls were taken into custody,” said Cpl. John Wachter, Baltimore County Police Department.
The FBI working with local police arrested two men who they say were acting as pimps for the girls.
Anthony Eley, 30, has a list of prior convictions and was already on bail after earlier this month he was accused of burglarizing pharmacies and ramming police vehicles as he led them on a high-speed chase.
Matthew Brown, 25, has no criminal record. He’s the son of high-profile Baltimore attorney Warren Brown, who declined to comment, but appeared in court at his son’s bail review hearing Thursday.
Both men now face charges of prostitution and human trafficking.
“These men knew that these girls were underage and knew that they were engaging in prostitution,” Wachter said.
Human trafficking is the second most lucrative criminal enterprise in the world. Young women and children are often the victims.
In a 2007 WJZ investigation, Vic Carter spoke to one woman who became a trafficking victim along with her children.
“I was threatened, and worst was that I was more scared for my kids,” she said.
The issue so high-profile that a bill to create a special fund for human trafficking victims is battling its way through Congress, stalling because some lawmakers want to make sure that the victims can’t use that money for abortions.
Because Eley was already out on bail in a pending case and on parole for a previous assault conviction, his bail was set at $1 million.
The judge agreed to reduce bail for Matthew Brown to $75,000.
Attorneys for both suspects declined to speak with WJZ.