ELKRIDGE, Md. — Howard County police have arrested and charged a Waldorf man with drug distribution and human trafficking of four women at an Elkridge motel.
49-year-old Ronald Willis Cheek, of Albacore Court, has been charged with nine counts of human trafficking; five counts of prostitution; and three counts of drug charges, including possession and intent to distribute.
On Wednesday, officers received a tip about some suspicious activity at the Terrace Motel in the 6200 block of Washington Boulevard. Upon arrival, they located Cheek and four women, all between the ages of 20 to 28. While officers were arresting Cheek on an open Virginia arrest warrant for fraud, they also recognized signs of possible human trafficking and, after further investigation, detectives filed charges against Cheek on Thursday.
According to investigators, Cheek posted online prostitution ads with photos of the women, arranged appointments and collected payments. Detectives also believe that, in order to keep the women under control, Cheek provided them with drugs. At the time of his arrest, police found a quantity of drugs that was indicative of distribution.
The victims, who are from Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, were referred to the appropriate services for further assistance and Cheek is currently being held without bond at the Howard County Detention Center.
Howard County has an ongoing effort to combat prostitution, human trafficking and related offenses, but investigators are asking anyone who may have any information about suspected human trafficking or prostitution to contact police at (410) 313-STOP or HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.