Former Baltimore City Firefighter Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking of a Minor
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 20, 2013|
BALTIMORE—Jamar Marvin Simmons, a/k/a “Mar,” age 30, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to sex trafficking of a minor in connection with a prostitution business he ran with co-defendant Franklin Roosevelt Coit, a/k/a “Frank,” and “Nitty,” age 34, also of Baltimore. Coit pleaded guilty to the same charge, on August 1, 2013. Simmons was a Baltimore City firefighter at the time of the offense.
The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.
According to their plea agreements, Simmons and Coit established and operated a brothel in Baltimore City, first at 2218 Madison Avenue and subsequently at a warehouse located at 208 Madison Avenue. Simmons and Coit also rented hotel rooms and another dwelling in Maryland that were also used for prostitution. Simmons and Coit falsely advertised positions online for exotic dancing and an escort service to recruit females, including at least one minor female, from inside and outside the state of Maryland and arranged to transport the women from various locations outside Maryland, including Delaware, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, South Dakota, and Virginia to Maryland to engage in prostitution. Many of the women recruited by Simmons and Coit were in financial distress, had no place to live, or were otherwise unusually vulnerable.
Simmons and Coit took sexually explicit photographs of the females they recruited, used a computer to post the photographs on the “escort” section of an online advertising website, and listed telephone numbers on the website where the females could be reached to schedule a “date,” or a commercial sex act. Simmons set the pricing for the commercial sex acts and instructed the females on how to set “dates” over the telephone and how to avoid detection by law enforcement. Simmons and Coit collected and shared the cash proceeds of the prostitution business and used a firearm and ammunition to protect the prostitution business and its cash proceeds.
Simmons and Coit face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for sex trafficking of a minor. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III has scheduled sentencing for Simmons on December 13, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. and for Coit on November 1, 2013, at 10:00 a.m.
The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat child prostitution, with members from 10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. The task force coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing children being advertised online for prostitution.
MCETF partners with 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 www.justice.gov/usao/md/Human-Trafficking/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department, and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel M. Yasser, who is prosecuting the case.