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Press Release

Charlottesville Man Arrested for Operating East Coast Prostitution Ring

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Brian Turner Used Drug-Addiction to Control His Victims

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A Charlottesville, Virginia man, who posted hundreds of commercial sex ads for adult women in various cities in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, was arrested early this morning for violating the Mann Act, a federal law that criminalizes the transportation of any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution.

Brian Lamont Turner, 42, was arrested this morning at a home in Charlottesville following a hours-long standoff with police on a federal criminal complaint charging him with one count of violating the Mann Act.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division announced the arrest.

According to court documents, in February 2023, the Federal Bureau of Investigation received multiple reports from local law enforcement agencies identifying Turner and adult females suspected of engaging in commercial sex acts.

The FBI’s investigation revealed an account on the commercial sex website registered to an email address known to be used by Turner. The account posted hundreds of commercial sex advertisements in various states, including Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

According to court documents, one of Turner’s most recent listings was posted on January 17, 2024, advertising commercial sex in Charlottesville.

Turner controlled all or almost all aspects of arranging commercial sex dates. He created the advertisements, communicated with customers, and scheduled the dates.  Text messages show him providing instructions and information to his victims about dates, such as how long the date was scheduled to last and how much money to charge. Turner also transported the adult victims to and from the hotels and often stayed in the hotel parking lot or another hotel room while the victims saw commercial sex customers.

Turner specifically targeted female victims who had drug addictions, recruited them, and used their drug addictions to control them. Turner became the women’s main source of drug supply and threatened to withhold drugs from his victims if they did not complete their commercial sex dates or follow his directions.

In addition, Turner is known to possess a firearm and has used it  to compel his victims to follow his instructions.

The FBI is investigating the case. The Charlottesville City Police Department and the Albemarle County Police Department assisted with Turner’s arrest.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Smith is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated January 24, 2024

Human Trafficking