Man sentenced for sex trafficking of minors at Milford and Stratford hotels
A former Hartford resident was sentenced Feb. 11 to more than 10 years in jail for sex trafficking of minors at hotels in Stratford and Milford.
According to Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Wellington Brown, also known as “Jamal,” 26, a Jamaican citizen formerly residing in Hartford, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 126 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between June 2013 and February 2014, Brown, with the assistance of Sheena Dume, used various manipulative tactics to recruit five different minor victims to engage in prostitution. Brown drove expensive vehicles and displayed jewelry and cash to his victims, and lured them with the prospect of making significant amounts of money, Daly said in a news release. Brown recruited some victims with the fictitious prospect of a modeling career.
“Brown took pictures of the minor victims and used them to advertise prostitution services on websites such as backpage.com. Brown and Dume covered the expenses of the prostitution operation, such as renting hotel rooms, providing transportation and condoms, and buying food for the victims,” the news release states. “At times, Brown also provided marijuana to the minor victims.”
The investigation revealed that the victims engaged in prostitution at various hotels in Stratford and Milford. The victims provided Brown with tens of thousands of dollars they earned through prostitution and received only a small portion of the money they made, according to court documents.
“This defendant recruited and manipulated vulnerable young girls, luring them into the cruel world of sex trafficking,” said Daly. “He exploited these girls for months, having them commit sex acts for money, and keeping most all of the profits for himself. Prosecuting these offenses is a top priority for our office and the Department of Justice. Those who sexually exploit minors will be held accountable in federal court and sentenced to significant time in prison.”
Daly thanked the FBI, the Milford and Stratford police departments, and the Connecticut State Police for their work in this investigation. Daly also recognized the assistance provided by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, particularly its Human Anti-Trafficking Response Team (“HART”).
Brown and Dume were arrested in Maryland on July 30, 2014. On March 26, 2015, Brown pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, and five counts of sex trafficking of a minor. He has been detained since his arrest.
Brown faces immigration proceedings after he serves his prison term.
Daly encouraged trafficking victims, and anyone who comes in contact with potential victims of trafficking, to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 888-373-7888. The hotline is run by the Polaris Project under a federal grant. Hotline operators are trained to identify potential trafficking situations, and will immediately refer tips to law enforcement. Individuals also can send an email to NHTRC@traffickingresourcecenter.org.