JESSUP, Md. (WJZ) — Two people were charged with human trafficking in Jessup, Howard County Police said Tuesday.
Zhongmei Zhang, a 35-year-old man, and Li Yu, a 41-year-old woman, both of Flushing, N.Y., were each charged with two counts of human trafficking and two counts of prostitution.
Police received a tip on July 17 of possible prostitution at The Red Roof Inn in the 8000 block of Washington Boulevard. After investigating, detectives learned the illegal activity was occurring in one of the rooms.
Police search the room and found Yu and another woman inside. Zhang and another woman were outside.
They believe Zhang and Yu posted ads online and arranged appointments for the women, but kept all the money.
The victims were referred to appropriate services for help.
Howard County has an ongoing effort to combat prostitution, human trafficking, and related offenses. Investigators are focused on arresting traffickers and offering assistance to victims through housing, treatment, transportation, and other services.
Detectives regularly monitor websites for prostitution ads and place their own ads from the police department with warnings not to engage in prostitution or human trafficking in Howard County.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have information about suspected human trafficking or prostitution to contact police at 410-313-STOP or HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.