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Justice News

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hagerstown Man Sentence To 16 Years For Sex Trafficking Of A Child

Defendant Drove Two Girls, Ages 15 and 17, from Pennsylvania to Maryland to Engage in Prostitution

June 5, 2018                                                                                      

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              Contact Bailey Drumm
www.justice.gov/usao/md                                         at (410) 209-4885

        Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Richard Dane Small, a/k/a “Maserati,” age 32, of Hagerstown, to 16 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for sex trafficking of a minor.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Sheriff Charles A. Jenkins of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office; and J. Charles Smith, III, Frederick County State’s Attorney.

According to his plea agreement, in June 2015, Small transported a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl from Pennsylvania to Maryland with the intent that each minor victim engage in prostitution, and Small recruited each minor for that purpose.  Small caused each minor victim to engage in commercial sex acts at hotels and other locations in Maryland, and received money each minor victim made.  Small was aware or recklessly disregarded the fact that each minor victim had not attained the age of 18 years.

Small directed the 15-year-old victim to use an account registered by Small with a classified ad website to post ads for commercial sex, which included the number to a phone in the girl’s possession.  He also directed the 15-year-old girl to answer calls from sex clients responding to these ads and to schedule appointments with them.  Small also had sex with the 15-year-old victim.

On June 16, 2015,  Maryland State Police (“MSP”) received a call from the 15-year-old victim’s father, who reported that the girl was being held against her will by a pimp at a hotel in Hagerstown. MSP officers responded to the hotel, and one officer approached Small and inquired about the missing girl.  The officer showed Small a photo of the girl, provided her age, and informed Small that she had run away from a group home in Pennsylvania.  After this encounter with MSP, Small continued to direct the girl to engage in prostitution and continued to receive the proceeds.

On June 23, 2015, Small was arrested by members of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office while driving both victims to a hotel in Frederick, Maryland.  While detained at the Frederick County Detention Center, Small had phone conversations with B.S., an adult female prostitute who worked for him.  During these calls, Small instructed B.S. to have all information wiped from his cell phone. Small and B.S. also discussed B.S. traveling to Pennsylvania to pick up the 17-year-old victim and renting a hotel room for the purpose of prostituting the girl in order to raise money for Small’s benefit.  With Small’s agreement, B.S. transported the 17-year-old victim to hotels in Pennsylvania and Maryland and collected proceeds from her commercial sex acts, which she used to rent hotel rooms, purchase heroin, and deposit funds into commissary accounts for Small’s benefit.

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.

Please 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 Robert K. Hur commended the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, HSI Frederick, the Maryland State Police, and the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Maddox and Seema Mittal, who prosecuted the case.

Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 5, 2018