Arrested made in human trafficking ring in Rehoboth

REHOBOTH BEACH – State and federal law enforcement agencies with the Human Trafficking Task Force arrested a Wilmington man Sept. 3 in connection with a human trafficking ring based in Rehoboth.

Marcus Smith, 32, was charged with two counts of human trafficking-sexual servitude, and endangering the welfare of a child.  He was arraigned and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $105,000 cash bond, according to Delaware State Police spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier.

On Sept. 2, detectives assigned to the Delaware State Police Troop 4 Major Crimes Unit received information that Marcus P. Smith was running a prostitution ring out of a Rehoboth area motel.

Detectives and special agents with Homeland Security conducted surveillance on the hotel. They also communicated directly with the phone number associated with the prostitution advertisements listed on http://www.backpage.com.

14 Cops marcus smith

Marcus Smith

On Sept. 3, after Smith and two females exited the hotel, troopers and task force members conducted a traffic stop on his vehicle and Smith was taken into custody without incident.

A search of Smith revealed he was in possession of over $1,400 in suspected prostitution proceeds. He and the two female victims, as well as Smith’s 6-month-old daughter, were all transported back to Troop 7 in Lewes.

According to Cpl. Fournier, investigation revealed that over the last several month Smith traveled to various hotels throughout the state of Delaware and used coercion, verbal abuse and the withholding of heroin to control the behavior of the victims.

Smith posted advertisements utilizing the website http://www.backpage.com and negotiated with potential clients and set all prices, according to Cpl. Fournier. All proceeds from prostitution activities went back to Smith and the female victims involved were provided with heroin, along with basic items such as food and clothing.

The Human Trafficking Task Force is comprised of the Delaware State Police, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Delaware Department of Justice.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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