TAMPA, Fla. – A Houston man is accused of traveling to Florida to drop a young girl off at a hotel to engage in prostitution, officials said.
On Thursday, Acting U.S. Attorney Karin Hoppman announced that Jamel Muldrew, 32, of Houston, has been charged with sex trafficking of a minor, interstate transportation of a person to engage in prostitution, and enticement of a person to travel interstate for prostitution.
He faces a potential life sentence in federal prison.
The criminal complaint said that on April 9, law enforcement coordinated an operation in Tampa to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking, and to identify and arrest their traffickers. An undercover officer involved in the operation arranged to engage in prostitution with a minor at a local hotel in exchange for $800.
A man, who was later identified as Muldrew, brought the girl to the hotel and dropped her off. He went to a nearby mall parking lot to wait, the complaint said.
The victim entered the hotel room, where she was met by detectives, the complaint said.
Muldrew was then arrested in the mall parking lot. Officers found multiple fictitious identity documents for himself and the girl, according to the complaint.
An investigation revealed that between February and April, Muldrew drove the girl to Texas, New Jersey, North Carolina and Florida to engage in prostitution, the document said.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department.
The Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force of the Middle District of Florida is one of 13 in the United States that receives grant funding from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Jail records indicated Muldrew was released Tuesday. The court documents did not list a lawyer for him.