TRENTON – A Jersey City man was sentenced to state prison today for running a major human trafficking and prostitution ring in which women were induced to use heroin and cocaine and were beaten if they did not turn a daily quota of tricks, Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced.
According to Taylor, Allen Brown, a.k.a. “Prince,” 48, of Jersey City, was sentenced to 18 years in state prison, including 10 years and 10 months of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Kevin G. Callahan in Hudson County. Brown pleaded guilty on April 1 to first-degree racketeering and second-degree theft by extortion. The charges were contained in an Aug. 7, 2009 state grand jury indictment.
Deputy Attorney General Annmarie Taggart prosecuted the case and represented the Division of Criminal Justice at the sentencing. Callahan sentenced Brown to consecutive sentences of 10 years on the racketeering charge, including four years of parole ineligibility, and eight years on the extortion charge, including six years and 10 months of parole ineligibility.
In pleading guilty, Brown admitted that he used violence and drugs to control women and force them to engage in prostitution. He further admitted that he extorted money from one victim who received an inheritance from her family estate, making threats against her and her family to force her to turn over the money. The charges resulted from “Operation Red Light,” an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau and the Jersey City Police Department. Seven other defendants have pleaded guilty in the case.
“Allen Brown exploited vulnerable young women, imprisoning them in a life of prostitution and narcotics addiction,” said Dow. “Now it is his turn to face prison, where he will not be able to harm any more women.”
“With the lengthy prison sentence imposed today on this pimp and the guilty pleas we previously secured from seven co-defendants, we have successfully resolved this tragic case of human trafficking,” said Taylor. “While no punishment will make amends for what he did to his victims, this sentence serves justice and is a tribute to the exemplary investigation conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice and Jersey City Police Department.”
“I would like to commend all of the individuals involved in taking down this dangerous man who preyed on women,” said Jersey City Police Chief Thomas Comey. “Allen Brown, aka ‘Prince,’ was a leader in a human trafficking enterprise that law enforcement was able to infiltrate and dismantle. Mr. Brown will no longer be a predator on our streets.”
The investigation was conducted for the Division of Criminal Justice by Detective Noelle Holl, Deputy Attorney General Taggart, Supervising Deputy Attorney General Lauren Scarpa Yfantis, and the Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau North Squad. They worked cooperatively with the Jersey City Police Department. The investigation was conducted for the Jersey City Police Department by Capt. Gary Lallo and the Special Investigation Unit. Detective Mike Kurinzi of the Elizabeth Police Department provided critical assistance.
The investigation revealed that for nearly two decades, Brown ran prostitution rings in Jersey City, coercing scores of women to prostitute for him. Through the years, Brown had residences that served as “stables” in a number of locations in Jersey City, where he would hold women brought from other cities. He brought women from cities including Camden, Atlantic City, Elizabeth, Newark and Philadelphia. His last location was 18 Lyon Court in Jersey City, an upscale condo development on Newark Bay in the Society Hill section of the city.
Once the women went with Brown, he would take away their cell phones and any form of identification they possessed. A number of the locations where they were housed had reverse locks on them that could not be unlocked from the inside without a key. Only a select few had a key. The others would be locked in until it was time to work again. None of the women were allowed to go anywhere alone or without permission.
The women forced to prostitute for Brown were given heroin and cocaine so Brown could control them and exploit their addiction. They were driven to “tracks” – motels or streets in Jersey City and sometimes locations in other cities – where they were expected to make a certain amount of money each night turning tricks to cover their daily drug debt and provide a profit for Brown. If they did not make the daily quota, ranging from $500 to $1,000, they were refused drugs, beaten or denied entry into the house until the money was made.
Brown collected all money and ordered subordinates to secure and control the women. On July 28, 2009, the woman who acted as boss over the women for Brown, Annie Cooper, a.k.a. “China,” 41, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty to first-degree racketeering. She is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Callahan this Friday, May 21. The state will recommend that she be sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.
The enterprise included subordinates responsible for transporting the women to work as prostitutes, obtaining drugs for the women, maintaining the household and vehicles, and securing the women. Three men were indicted for those activities: Anthony Evans, 52, of Jersey City; Brown’s nephew, Arthur Brown, 38, of Jersey City; and Jerome Robinson, 31, of Newark. All three men have pleaded guilty to third-degree promoting prostitution.
Evans is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Callahan this Friday, May 21. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to four years in prison. The state will recommend a five-year prison sentence for Arthur Brown, and a sentence of probation for Robinson, conditioned on him serving 364 days in the county jail. Arthur Brown is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Callahan on May 27, and Robinson is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4.
Over the years, Allen Brown made hundreds of thousands of dollars, which he used to furnish his home, purchase jewelry, buy vehicles, and purchase drugs. The ring also included individuals who laundered the criminal proceeds through various financial transactions. Frequently Brown used family members and friends to act as the legitimate holder of vehicle titles, real property leases, cash and other property that he paid for with criminal proceeds. Those people included his mother, Tecora P. Brown, 73, of Bayonne, his niece, Tecora L. Brown, 36, of Jersey City, and Marlo Taylor, 40, of Newark.
Tecora P. Brown pleaded guilty to third-degree promoting prostitution, and Tecora L. Brown pleaded guilty to third-degree money laundering. The state will recommend that both women receive sentences of probation. Marlo Taylor pleaded guilty to third-degree money laundering, and the state will recommend that she be sentenced to 364 days in the county jail as a condition of a term of probation. Tecora P. Brown and Taylor are scheduled to be sentenced on June 4, and Tecora L. Brown is scheduled to be sentenced on July 9.
Allen Brown, Cooper and Evans were arrested on Sept. 12, 2008, when detectives from the Division of Criminal Justice and Jersey City Police executed a search warrant at 18 Lyon Court. Arthur Brown was also charged that day.
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