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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Massachusetts Resident Indicted on Sex Trafficking Charge

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Devon Brown, 24, of Everett, MA, was arraigned in federal court in Providence today on a sex trafficking charge. It is alleged that Brown transported a woman from Massachusetts to Rhode Island for the purpose of commercial sexual activity.

A federal indictment returned yesterday and unsealed in U.S. District Court in Providence today charges Brown with a Mann Act charge of interstate transportation with the intent to engage in prostitution.

The indictment of Devon Brown is announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for New England; and Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist.

According to information presented to the court, a joint investigation by the Cranston Police Department and HSI agents determined that on March 7, 2016, Devon Brown, allegedly operating out of a motel in Seekonk, MA, paid for and posted Backpage ads offering a woman for commercial sexual activity.

On March 7, 2016, an HSI undercover agent responded to the ad posing as a customer and allegedly arranged with Brown for the woman to be brought to a Cranston residence. According to information presented to the court, when the woman arrived at the Cranston residence and allegedly engaged in a sex for money conversation with the undercover agent she was detained while Brown was arrested outside of the building.

An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The matter, charged first in Rhode Island State Court prior to the return of a federal indictment, is being prosecuted in federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly with the assistance of Rhode Island Assistant Attorney General Daniel C. Guglielmo.

Brown, arrested earlier today at his residence in Massachusetts, appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond. A not guilty plea was entered. Brown was released to home confinement with electronic monitoring.

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Contact:

Jim Martin (401) 709-5357

email: USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

on Twitter @USAO_RI

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
16-101
Updated October 12, 2016