A Nevada man is accused of running a human trafficking scheme that brought girls across the country to D.C. -- and that he promoted with videos boasting of his prowess as a pimp.
Prosecutors say Jermaine Jack, 33, recruited young girls in Las Vegas and brought them to a hotel in Rockville to sell them for sex, reported News4's Erika Gonzalez.
Jack used videos to convince girls that joining his operation was the ticket to a better life, prosecutors said. In one, he's seen standing in front of a luxury SUV, with what appears to be a joint in his hand, boasting.
"I want to make an impression, a good impression, everywhere I go," Jack says in the video. "I am truly blessed, I will tell you that much."
He says he wants the same for the girls -- as long as they join his scheme. "If you really want something out of this game ... it starts with you," he says.
Prosecutors said they learned of the trafficking ring in August, when two women Jack had brought to the area came forward.
Jack fled, and police tracked him by placing an ad on the web site Backpage.com in California and Nevada. "Wanted for Human Trafficking," the ad read. It ran Jack's picture and listed a detective's phone number.
Police were surprised when Jack himself called the detective, taunting the police and saying they'd never catch him.
But they did. And then, prosecutors extradited Jack with a 17-day bus trip back to Montgomery County to face the warrant for his arrest.
Until 2000, there was no law against human trafficking in Maryland. Even now, detectives told Gonzalez, the profit margin in the sex trade is high, while the punishment is not severe.
"Everybody knows that human trafficking is a problem," said Cristina Arnold, president of Prevent Human Trafficking. "But what are we doing about it?"