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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Dorchester Man Charged in Second Superseding Indictment with Sex Trafficking Over 15 Year Period

Rehoboth woman also indicted

BOSTON – A Dorchester man and a Rehoboth woman have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston on sex trafficking charges.

Bruce Brown, a/k/a “Arki,” 41, of Boston, was indicted in a second superseding indictment unsealed today in federal court. The second superseding indictment charges Brown with an additional count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and an additional count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. It also charges Muriel Close, 42, of Rehoboth, with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.  

Brown was previously indicted on Feb. 13, 2020, with four counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; one count of sex trafficking of a minor by force, fraud and coercion; one count of transportation of a minor for purposes of prostitution; and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. On June 16, 2020, Brown was charged in a superseding indictment with obstruction of justice and witness tampering for his attempt to influence a victim’s testimony related to the pending charges against him. Brown dubbed this scheme his “Plan B.”

According to the second superseding indictment, Brown engaged in the sex trafficking of five victims over a 15 year period beginning in June 2004 and continuing through approximately December 2019.

Close’s conspiracy charges are based on her conduct involving three victims, two from 2012, and one from 2019. 

The charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking provide for a sentence of up to life in prison, five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The sex trafficking statute also imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years for offenses committed by means of force, threats of force, fraud or coercion. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The Newton Police Department provided valuable assistance in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Lelling’s Civil Rights Enforcement Team. 

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated July 23, 2020