News

Baltimore City Firefighter and Another Baltimore Man Indicted on Charges Related to the Operation Of a Sex Trafficking Business

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - Jamar Marvin Simmons, a/k/a “Mar,” age 30, of Baltimore, was ordered to be detained today on federal charges relating to a commercial sex trafficking business allegedly run by Simmons, a Baltimore City Firefighter, and co-defendant Franklin Roosevelt Coit, a/k/a “Frank,” and “Nitty,” age 34, also of Baltimore. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on February 13, 2012.

The charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

According to the six count indictment, from July 2009 through July 2012, Simmons and Coit established and operated a brothel in Baltimore City, and rented hotel rooms and another dwelling in Maryland that were also used for prostitution. Simmons and Coit falsely advertised positions online for exotic dancing and an escort service to recruit females, including at least one minor female, from inside and outside the state of Maryland and arranged to transport the women from various locations outside Maryland, including Delaware, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, South Dakota, and Virginia to Maryland to engage in prostitution. The indictment alleges that the defendants took sexually explicit photographs of the females they recruited, used a computer to post the photographs on the “escort” section of an online advertising website, and listed telephone numbers on the website where the females could be reached to schedule a “date,” or a commercial sex act. Simmons and Coit set the pricing for the commercial sex acts and instructed the females on how to set “dates” over the telephone, and how to avoid detection by law enforcement. According to the indictment, Simmons and Coit collected and shared the cash proceeds of the prostitution business and used a firearm and ammunition to protect the prostitution business and its cash proceeds.

The defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy; a maximum of life in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking; a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison for sex trafficking of a minor; 20 years in prison for enticing or coercing individuals to engage in prostitution; and 10 years in prison for interstate transportation for the purpose of prostitution. Coit also faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Coit is detained on state charges and no federal court appearance has been scheduled.

The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat child prostitution, with members from10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Task Force coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing children being advertised online for prostitution.

MCETF partners with the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, formed in 2007 to discover and rescue victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. Members include federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as victim service providers and local community members. For more information about the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, please visit

www.justice.gov/usao/md/Human-Trafficking/index.html.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel M. Yasser, who is prosecuting the case.


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