AG Frosh, PG Co. State’s Attorney Alsobrooks announce crackdown of human trafficking enterprise
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks Tuesday announced the indictment of three members of a multi-jurisdictional Maryland-based human trafficking enterprise.
The indictments, which were returned by the Grand Jury earlier in August, are reportedly the product of collaboration between prosecutors from the Office of Attorney General’s Organized Crime Unit and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, and law enforcement from the Maryland State Police and the Prince George’s County Police Department.
The joint investigation apparently resulted in a Grand Jury multi-count indictment against Rashid Marwan Mosby, 42, Terra Marie Perry, 35, and Joshua Isaiah Jones, 26. Mosby and Perry are in police custody. Officials say Jones is still at large.
“The trafficking of women for prostitution is a widespread and worldwide practice that places vulnerable individuals at risk of exploitation and violence, and it is a problem even in our own back yards,” said Attorney General Frosh. “This enterprise brutalized women, crossed county and state lines, and spanned years. But, through close collaboration between our office and the office of Prince George’s County State’s Attorney, Angela Alsobrooks, today, we can announce that this enterprise has been shut down. These indictments represent what can be done when police and prosecutors come together to tackle multijurisdictional criminal organizations.”
“Human trafficking is a crime that often preys on young girls who have become estranged from family and friends,” Alsobrooks said. “In addition to vigorously prosecuting those who engage in this terrible act, we must also provide resources to victims to help them deal with any trauma they have suffered and help them reunite with loved ones so they are never victimized like this again.”
“We continue to see the importance coordination between law enforcement partners makes in fulfilling our mission to be a statewide force for a safer Maryland,” said Colonel William Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. “Thanks to the dedicated efforts of police, prosecutors and defense attorneys across Maryland, together, we will continue to focus on inter-jurisdictional and cross border crimes to ultimately end human trafficking in our state.”
“A 2015 arrest by Prince George’s County Police officers initiated this multi-agency investigation. We are proud to have worked closely with our local and state partners. We are pleased the effort resulted in the indictments against these suspects who victimized so many women. This criminal behavior has no place in our communities,” said Chief Hank Stawinski, Prince George’s County Police Department.
The indictments allege that over a three-year period, between 2013 and 2015, the co-defendants worked together to organize, promote and participate in a multi-jurisdictional human trafficking criminal enterprise. The co-defendants reportedly promoted their enterprise under the guise of a modeling and escort agency operating under the name “Pink Pleasure Entertainment” and recruited females using the website backpage.com.
According to the indictments, the co-defendants posted more than 100 advertisements on backpage.com and featured sexually explicit images and language to solicit customers for sexual services arranged by the co-defendants and performed by the victims. Proceeds from the sexual services were given to the defendants.
As a result of the investigation, the indictments allege that the co-defendants recruited their victims throughout Maryland and surrounding states. Officials say that among the victims were two teenagers, including a young woman from New Jersey and a juvenile who was lured from North Carolina. Once trafficked into the state of Maryland, the victims were reportedly manipulated and threatened into prostitution.
The co-defendants apparently operated their criminal enterprise by renting dozens of hotel rooms throughout Maryland to place and harbor victims for the purposes of sexual encounters. Officials say the victims were trafficked to and from the hotels using coercion, deception, intimidation, and physical violence.
Defendants Mosby and Perry are reportedly charged with conspiracy human trafficking, 1 count; human trafficking of a minor, 3 counts; human trafficking, 7 counts; and receiving earnings of a prostitute, 3 counts.
Defendant Jones is reportedly charged with conspiracy human trafficking, 1 count; human trafficking of a minor, 3 counts; and receiving earnings of a prostitute, 1 count.
According to Office of the AG release, charges of human trafficking carry potential penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. A person convicted of receiving the earnings of a prostitute may also reportedly be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Officials also say where the victim of human trafficking is a minor, the maximum penalties are 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Attorney General Frosh would like to thank the Organized Crime Unit, which is responsible for the prosecution of these indictments, as well as the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Maryland State Police, and the Vice Intelligent Unit of the Prince George’s County Police Department for their exceptional contributions and ongoing work on this case.
A reminder, an indictment is not a finding of guilt. A person is innocent unless and until proven guilty. A copy of one of the indictments is here.