Baltimore, Maryland – Travis Lamont Foote, a/k/a “Cash,” age 31, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar to 12 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Judge Bredar ordered that upon his release from prison, Foote 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 guilty plea and sentence were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to Foote’s plea agreement, from September through November 2012, Foote used social media sites to persuade and entice females to work for him in his prostitution business. For example, in September 2012, Foote contacted an 18 year old woman living in Florida (Jane Doe 1) on Facebook, using a female online identity he created using the name “Cash Treasure.” Jane Doe 1 had dropped out of high school and was trying to get back into school or find employment. Foote, using the “Cash Treasure” persona, told Jane Doe 1 that “she” knew someone who would be able to assist her. Foote then reached out to Jane Doe 1, as a friend of “Cash Treasure,” stating that he could help Jane Doe 1 to get back into high school and get a diploma, but it would require her to move to Baltimore. After Jane Doe 1 agreed, Foote paid for an airline ticket for Jane Doe 1 to fly from Florida to Baltimore sometime in September.
Foote met Jane Doe 1 at the airport and drove her to a motel in Catonsville, where he had rented four rooms, three of which were occupied by other females. It was then that Jane Doe 1 learned that Foote was running a prostitution business and the he expected Jane Doe 1 to work for him, engaging in sex with men for money for Foote’s benefit. At first Jane Doe 1 refused, but eventually she agreed and began having sex with men for money, with all of the proceeds going to Foote.
During this time, Foote was using internet websites to advertise the women, including “Malaysia,” and “Mercedez,” who was Jane Doe 1, as available for prostitution. On November 14, 2012, an undercover detective from the Baltimore County Police Department Vice Unit called the number on one of the advertisements to schedule a “date” with “Malaysia.” The undercover detective met Malaysia at the agreed upon time and place. Malaysia was arrested. Officers located and arrested Jane Doe 1 in the hallway. She was holding a baby monitor which was receiving a live video of the interior of Malaysia’s room, where police had conducted the undercover operation. Officers also located and attempted to arrest Foote but he struggled and ran away.
Foote was arrested on May 16, 2013, after a Baltimore County Police officer conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle in which Foote was a passenger. In addition to Foote and the driver, there was an 18 year old female, Jane Doe 2, riding in the vehicle. Jane Doe 2 was listed in police records as a possible runaway. Foote and the driver were on their way back to a motel after taking Jane Doe 2 on an “out-call,” taking her to meet a man who paid to have sex with her. Two other females were located at the motel who worked as prostitutes for Foote and the driver. Jane Doe 2 and the other two females were advertised for prostitution on an internet website, and stated that they gave their earnings to Foote, the driver and another person.
Foote admitted that Jane Doe 2 began working for him in April 2013 and had approximately 100 “dates” with men for money that was provided to Foote. In May 2013, Jane Doe 2 tried to leave the motel after refusing a request from one of the men. Foote pursued her into the hallway and stairwell and physically fought with Jane Doe 2, returning her to the motel room by physical force.
This 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 visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/priorities_human.html.
Report suspected instances of human trafficking to HSI's tip line at 866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423) or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who is prosecuting the case.