News

Glen Burnie Man Sentenced to over 10 Years in Prison for Transporting a Minor to Engage in Prostitution


Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force Rescues 12 Year Old Girl
from Laurel Hotel Room

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Derwin Samuel Smith, age 43, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, today to 121 months in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for transporting a minor across state lines to engage in prostitution. Judge Blake also ordered that upon his release from prison, Smith must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Anne Arundel County Police Chief James Teare, Sr.; Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee.

“The victim was rescued thanks to superb work by the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “We hope that this prosecution sends a message to low-life criminals who prostitute children.”

According to his plea agreement, on June 7, 2010, members of the Maryland Human Trafficking task Force recovered a 12 year old girl who had been reported missing and was believed to be involved in prostitution, from a motel room in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The child had called a relative from the motel room and investigation revealed that the room was registered to Smith. The child told the officers that Smith had said that he would be back later that evening to have sex with her.

The child was taken to police headquarters and further identified Smith as the person who had picked her up on the street in Washington, DC, paid for sexual services performed in the backseat of his car and recruited her to work for him as a prostitute. Smith had then driven the girl to Atlantic, City New Jersey where at Smith’s direction, men paid to have sex with her over the weekend. The child gave Smith all of the money.

While the child was at police headquarters, officers waited at the motel until Smith arrived. Smith was arrested and police recovered the key to the motel room where the girl was recovered. Smith later admitted picking up the victim in Washington, D.C. on Friday evening, taking her to Atlantic City, New Jersey over the weekend, and purchasing the motel room for her on Monday morning.

The case was investigated by 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 www.justice.gov/usao/md/Human-Trafficking/index.html.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland’s program are available at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Maryland State Police and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel M. Yasser and Tonya Kelly Kowitz, who prosecuted the case.

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