Former Harford Resident Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of Minors
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that 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, for sex trafficking of minors.
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. 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. 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.
“This defendant recruited and manipulated vulnerable young girls luring them into the cruel world of sex trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney 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. We thank the FBI, the Milford and Stratford Police Departments, and the Connecticut State Police for their diligent work in this investigation. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to rescue girls and young women from brutal environments and to prosecute those who are responsible for and profit from this reprehensible conduct.”
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.
On February 18, 2015, Dume pleaded guilty to the same six offenses. She awaits sentencing.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, aided by the Milford Police Department, the Stratford Police Department and the Connecticut State Police. U.S. Attorney Daly also recognized the significant assistance provided by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, particularly its Human Anti-Trafficking Response Team (“HART”).
This case is being prosecuted by AUSAs David Novick and Marc Silverman.
U.S. Attorney 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.
Trafficking victims also are encouraged to send a text message to “BEFREE” to receive an immediate response and help from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.