TRENTON – A woman was sentenced to prison today for acting as a boss over the prostitutes in a human trafficking ring in Jersey City 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, Annie Cooper, a.k.a. “China,” 41, of Jersey City, was sentenced to six years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Kevin G. Callahan in Hudson County. She pleaded guilty on July 28, 2009 to racketeering.
On Wednesday, Callahan sentenced the leader of the ring, Allen Brown, a.k.a. “Prince,” 48, of Jersey City, to 18 years in state prison, including 10 years and 10 months of parole ineligibility. Brown pleaded guilty to racketeering and theft by extortion.
Anthony Evans, 52, of Jersey City, was sentenced today to three years in state prison on a charge of third-degree promoting prostitution for assisting Brown in the prostitution ring.
Deputy Attorney General Annmarie Taggart prosecuted the case and represented the state at the sentencing. 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.
Brown ran prostitution rings in Jersey City for nearly two decades, coercing scores of women to prostitute for him. He had residences that served as “stables” in a number of locations in the city, where he would hold women, taking away their cell phones and any form of identification. 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. The women forced to prostitute for Brown were given heroin and cocaine so Brown could control them and exploit their addiction.
In pleading guilty, Cooper admitted that since 1990, she assisted Brown in his prostitution enterprises by acting as boss, controlling the women and enforcing the house rules he set.
Cooper, who was called “Mommy” by many of the women, would discipline the women for not bringing home the daily quota of $500 to $1,000 they were required to make, sometimes kicking them and beating them with her fists and household objects. Cooper handed out heroin and cocaine to the women or withheld drugs if they did not meet demands.
The investigation revealed that Evans was one of three men who, as subordinates of Brown, were responsible for transporting the women to work as prostitutes, obtaining drugs for the women, maintaining the household and vehicles, and securing the women. The other two men are Brown’s nephew, Arthur Brown, 38, of Jersey City; and Jerome Robinson, 31, of Newark. Those two men also pleaded guilty to third-degree promoting prostitution and are scheduled to be sentenced by Callahan 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 people who laundered the criminal proceeds through various transactions. 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. They 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 by Callahan on June 4, and Tecora L. Brown is scheduled to be sentenced on July 9.
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.
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