BALTIMORE, MD — A Baltimore bail bondsman was sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. He trafficked at least five women, including a minor, before being arrested in Harford County.
Charles Mario Brown Sr., 48, of Baltimore, admitted to conspiring to commit sex trafficking in exchange for other charges being dropped, including sex trafficking of a minor and using interstate facilities for prostitution. He was sentenced Monday, Sept. 16, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
According to his plea agreement, Brown was shuttling women in his Brown’s Bail Bonds SUV to “outcalls,” or sex appointments he helped arranged for them on Backpage.com.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office uncovered the operation while investigating a fatal heroin overdose, according to prosecutors.
At the request of Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, a narcotics investigator has responded to each overdose call since 2015 to gather intelligence about how drugs are getting into Harford County. Investigators find out who is selling the drugs and where users are purchasing them.
A man identified in court documents only as “A.G.” had died in an Edgewood hotel room from an overdose, and at the time, a prostitute was with him. She was one of Brown’s trafficking victims, according to the plea agreement.
Brown admitted that he operated a prostitution business involving at least four women and a 16-year-old girl he knew was a minor. They performed sex acts in the Baltimore metropolitan area, the agreement said.
Brown and his co-conspirator — referred to in court records as “L.Y.” — met the 16-year-old runaway while she was walking in Baltimore in November 2016. In exchange for shelter and food, Brown and L.Y. collected payments from the teen after she performed commercial sex acts. They also bought her lingerie. According to Brown’s indictment, L.Y. is now deceased.
On Dec. 9, 2016, Brown and L.Y. drove to a hotel in Edgewood with the teen for a sex date requested by an undercover Harford County detective. The detective had also arranged to buy $1,000 worth of heroin, according to prosecutors. After the teen and another woman went into the hotel room for the meetup, officials said they arrested Brown and L.Y., who were waiting outside in the Brown’s Bail Bonds SUV. Their phones were taken into evidence, and forensic examination showed that they were operating a prostitution business, according to the plea agreement.
Information about the heroin could not be provided at this time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement Tuesday, Sept. 17, in response to an inquiry from Patch about the drug investigation.
Brown will serve seven years in federal prison and then will be on supervised release for 15 years for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He must also register as a sex offender and pay his victims $2,500 in restitution.
“These violent criminals exploit our most vulnerable for profit and must be stopped,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring human traffickers to justice.”
In April 2018 the U.S. Department of Justice shut down Backpage and indicted multiple people associated with the company, including the CEO, on charges like money laundering and facilitating prostitution.
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