Three people have been formally charged in a human trafficking enterprise that was operating out of various Maryland hotels and involved more than 40 victims -- some of them teens, officials announced Tuesday.
The human trafficking sting was operating out of hotels in Prince George's County, Md.
Authorities say the trafficking took place between 2013 and 2015. The three people indicted allegedly lured victims in and then forced them into prostitution. They allegedly recruited victims and customers on BackPage.com, a classifieds portal, disguising themselves as a modeling and escort service.
The co-conspirators posted more than 100 advertisements on BackPage.com to solicit customers for sexual services that would be performed by the victims, young women, according to the indictment.
Officials said that among the 40 victims, two of them were teens -- one from New Jersey and another from North Carolina.
The victims were not allowed to leave and were often threatened, beaten, intimidated and deceived, officials said.
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