Hotel staff alerts police to human trafficking

Posted at 7:17 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-21 19:17:14-04

Howard County Police have charged an Elkton man with human trafficking after they investigated a tip from the staff at an Ellicott City hotel.

39-year-old Berris Munroe of Elkton was charged with human trafficking, prostitution and disorderly conduct after detectives discovered evidence that he was trafficking a 21-year-old woman.

Police were alerted by staff at the hotel who said they suspected prostitution in one of their rooms.  Officers responded to a room and found the 21-year-old with Munroe.

Investigators learned that Munroe would arrange transportation for the woman to come from New York on a regular basis after advertising her as a prostitute on the website, "Backpage."

Police believe Munroe was taking money from the woman after he arranged for her to meet with numerous men for the purpose of prostitution.

“We are pleased to see that our focus on this issue in Howard County is having an impact,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Our strategies of devoting funds to address human trafficking and increasing police resources are paying off in ways that are helping real victims and taking offenders off the streets.”

Police referred the woman to victim advocate services to help her return home to New York.

Munroe has been released on $15,000 bond.