From the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore:
A federal jury today convicted Raymond Idemudia Aigbekaen, age 29, of Amityville, New York, for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex offenses, sex trafficking of a minor and other charges related to the trafficking of a 16 year-old female for prostitution in Maryland, Virginia, and New York.
The conviction was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler and the Harford County Child Advocacy Center (HCCAC); and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police;.
According to information presented at his nine-day trial, from late February through April 12, 2015, Aigbekaen and his co-defendant, Marcell Greene, trafficked a 16 year-old girl for prostitution. On April 12, 2015, the victim called 911 from a motel room in Bel Air, Maryland. Members of the Harford County Child Advocacy Center responded and the victim eventually advised that she had been taken to Virginia and Maryland from New York by two men, one named Marcell and another named “Raymond” who was Nigerian. The victim advised that commercial sex ads of her were posted on a webpage, and that she engaged in commercial sex acts with prostitution dates. Law enforcement was able to identify Aigbekaen as the person who rented the hotel room where victim was staying.
Items, such as tissues and used condoms, were recovered from the trash cans of the hotel room used by Aigbekaen, Greene and the victim on April 11-12, 2015. Some of these items were found to contain DNA evidence, including DNA evidence that matched the co-defendant, Greene. Aigbekaen was determined to be a potential contributor to stains on the victim’s underwear. Hotel records also show that Aigbekaen rented rooms on March 30, 2015 to April 1, 2015 and from April 2, 2015 to April 4, 2015. Hotel records also showed that Aigbekaen rented rooms at other hotels in Maryland and Fredericksburg, Virginia and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Law enforcement were able to locate internet prostitution advertisements advertising the victim for prostitution using Aigbekaen’s email accounts. These advertisements were posted in the Long Island, New York, Maryland, and Virginia areas in February and March 2015. At least some of these advertisements listed Aigbekaen’s phone number. Photos of the victim that were used in the ads were also found on Aigbekaen’s computer. Finally, historical cell site records for Aigbekaen’s phones showed him travelling in Maryland and Virginia and puts him in vicinity of Maryland and Virginia hotels that were used when the victim was engaging in commercial sex acts.
As a result of this conviction, upon his release from prison Aigbekaen will be required to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Aigbekaen faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled sentencing for February 7, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Aigbekaen remains detained.
Marcell Greene, age 28, of Wyandanch, New York, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor. Greene also faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled sentencing for Greene on October 14, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. Greene remains detained.
This case was investigated by 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 http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/priorities_human.html.
Report suspected instances of human trafficking to HSI’s tip line at 866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423) or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI-Baltimore, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Harford County Child Advocacy Center, Maryland State Police, FBI, for their work in the investigation and thanked U.S. Customs and Border Protection – New York for its assistance. The HCCAC is a task force comprised of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police – Bel Air Barrack, Aberdeen, Bel Air, and Havre de Grace Police Departments, Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, Harford County Department of Social Services – Child Protective Services, and Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland, which investigates allegations of child maltreatment while also providing services and resources for the abused child and his/her family. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ayn B. Ducao and Matthew J. Maddox, who are prosecuting the case.