Laurel Man Admits to Robbery, Abduction, and Sexual Assault of Prostitutes
GREENBELT, MD—Ajibola Erogbogbo, age 19, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to robbery.
The plea agreement was 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; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare; Chief Richard McLaughlin of the Laurel Police Department; Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.
According to his plea agreement, Erogbogbo was a security guard at Six Flags amusement park in Largo, Maryland, and a student at Anne Arundel Community College.
On January 9, 2014, a prostitute posted an ad for sex on the Internet and Erogbogbo arranged a “date” at a hotel in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. Erogbogbo arrived wearing a vest that read “POLICE,” and had a metallic badge in one hand and a gun in the other. He told the prostitute that she was under arrest and instructed her to write her name and personal information on a yellow notepad he brought with him. Erogbogbo then handcuffed the woman, took her driver’s license and asked about her involvement in prostitution. Erogbogbo removed the handcuffs and demanded money. The woman responded that she did not have any cash. While Erogbogbo searched her belongings and the hotel room, the woman secretly sent a text message to another prostitute working in the same hotel, who knocked on the hotel door.
Erogbogbo answered the door, took out his gun and pointed it at the second prostitute. He handcuffed both women. When he couldn’t find any money, Erogbogbo ordered the second prostitute to write down her phone number and leave the hotel, leaving the initial prostitute with him.
Erogbogbo took the prostitute out to the side entrance of the hotel, telling her that she was going to jail. As they headed towards his parked vehicle, the prostitute broke free and ran back to the front desk yelling for help. The front desk attendant called 911. Erogbogbo fled in his vehicle. Anne Arundel County Police responded and recovered surveillance video footage from the hotel showing Erogbogbo arriving at the hotel, entering the lobby wearing a vest and attempting to take the prostitute away from the hotel.
On January 11, 2014, Erogbogbo again phoned the prostitute after she posted a new commercial sex ad and attempted to arrange another “date.” Based on the information provided by the prostitute, members of the Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF) arrived in the area of the hotel and set up surveillance. Erogbogbo, however, never appeared.
A third prostitute told MCETF members that she had arranged a “date” with Erogbogbo who called her after she had posted an online prostitution ad. A fourth prostitute hid in the closet as a precaution. When Erogbogbo arrived in the hotel room, he identified himself as a police officer and placed the prostitute in handcuffs. Erogbogbo was wearing a vest that read “POLICE”, a law enforcement belt, a holstered gun on the right side and a second gun in a left-side drop holster. Erogbogbo also showed her a metallic badge. When the fourth prostitute emerged from the closet, Erogbogbo demanded that they give him their prostitution money. The prostitutes gave Erogbogbo a total of $1,400. Erogbogbo returned $600 to the fourth prostitute and took $800 from the third prostitute. Erogbogbo wrote a phone number on a piece of yellow paper, told the victims to call him if they needed future assistance from the police, removed the handcuffs and left.
On February 19, 2014, MCETF personnel met another prostitute who said that she too had been recently robbed by Erogbogbo. Erogbogbo had made a “date” with this fifth prostitute from her online post. When he arrived at her hotel room, he said that he was a police officer in the “Human Trafficking Unit.” He showed a badge, and wore a ballistic vest with a “POLICE” patch, and carried a radio that he periodically spoke into. He also carried a handcuff pouch, handcuffs and a gun in a leather holster. After asking the woman several questions regarding her involvement in prostitution, Erogbogbo said that the “only way” to avoid arrest was to have sex with him. The woman at first refused. When she would not take off her clothing, Erogbogbo threatened to put handcuffs on her. He began having sex with her, but stopped when she became unresponsive.
The next day, the prostitute posted a new online prostitution ad under the direction of MCETF. Erogbogbo contacted her to make a “date.” Although she had not told Erogbogbo her exact location, Erogbogbo soon walked into the hotel lobby en route to the “date.” When Erogbogbo encountered the Laurel City Police in the lobby, he attempted to flee. He was stopped by the police as he was attempting to re-enter his vehicle parked outside of the hotel. Erogbogbo was wearing a gold Six Flags Loss Prevention badge and a Smith and Wesson replica BB gun, holstered on his belt.
Police searched Erogbogbo’s residence and vehicle and recovered handcuffs, radios, pepper spray, badge holders and a yellow notepad that contained names, driver’s license numbers, phone numbers and addresses of women, including the prostitutes previously described.
Erogbogbo faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang scheduled sentencing for June 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Anne Arundel County and Prince George’s County Police Departments, Laurel Police Department, Anne Arundel County and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Offices and Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel C. Gardner and James A. Crowell IV, who are prosecuting the case.