Two Montgomery County Defendants Charged in Human Trafficking Conspiracy
Underage Girls Allegedly Drugged and Threatened
Baltimore, Maryland - Two Montgomery County defendants were arrested today for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking in a scheme to prostitute three minor females, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. On January 28, 2009, a three count indictment was returned against Lloyd Mack Royal, III, a/k/a “Blyss,” a/k/a “B,” a/k/a “Furious,” age 28; and a criminal complaint was filed against Angela Samantha Bentolila, age 26, both of which were unsealed today.
“We have made it a priority in Maryland to pursue criminals who lure or coerce children into prostitution,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Maryland’s Human Trafficking Task Force works with law enforcement officers and private sector organizations to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking and prosecute criminals who exploit them. Pimps who victimize children are at the top of our list.”
According to the indictment and affidavit supporting the criminal complaint, from April to May 2007 the defendants coerced a minor girl to engage in sex for pay. The indictment further alleges that Royal: coerced two additional minors to engage in sex, for which he was paid; threatened to harm the girls and their families; struck the girls; and held one of the girls at gun point. On several occasions, Royal gave the girls illegal drugs before forcing them to engage in sex with him. Royal drove the girls to hotels in Gaithersburg, Maryland, or caused them to be transported from Maryland to the District of Columbia, to have them engage in sex.
The indictment and affidavit further allege that the defendants provided the girls with cocaine, “dippers” or “ciga-wets” (cigarettes dipped in phencyclidine liquid known as PCP), marijuana and alcohol before coercing them to engage in sex with customers, and sometimes sold cocaine to customers. The defendants gave the girls instructions on pricing for different sexual acts and instructed the girls to lie about their ages.
The affidavit also alleges that Bentolila provided her residence and a vehicle to facilitate the sex acts of two of the girls.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy. Royal also faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for sex trafficking and seven years in prison for brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. The defendants are scheduled to have their initial appearances in federal district court at 3:30 and 3:45 p.m. today.
An indictment and complaint are not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment or complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Montgomery County Police Department for their investigative work, and the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Solette Magnelli, who is prosecuting the case.