Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”),announced Thuradsy that–
ADRIAN BROOKS, a/k/a “Abee,” was arrested for his alleged role as the leader of a sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise that exploited and abused women and minor girls.
BROOKS was charged in an Indictment with sex trafficking of minors and sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion. BROOKS was also charged with the use of interstate facilities and interstate travel to promote a prostitution enterprise.
BROOKS was arrested Thursday morning and was to be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gorenstein in Manhattan federal court Thursday afternoon. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:
“As alleged, Adrian Brooks used threats and violence to coerce underaged girls into performing sex acts for money, and then kept most of the money for himself. For his reprehensible alleged crimes, Brooks will now face federal sex trafficking charges. This Office remains committed to protecting vulnerable children from the sick world of commercial sex trafficking.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court:
Since at least 2014, BROOKS directed and conducted a criminal sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise (the “Sex Trafficking Enterprise”) that recruited and exploited minor girls, and then forced them to engage in commercial sex acts for his own profit by, among other things, using an online classifieds website called Backpage.com (“Backpage”).
BROOKS operated the Sex Trafficking Enterprise out of motels in the Bronx, New York, and Yonkers, New York, as well as on the streets of the Bronx.
To evade detection by law enforcement, the Sex Trafficking Enterprise’s advertisements often purported to be offering escorts. However, such advertisements often signaled that they were, in fact, offering individuals for commercial sex acts through a variety of cues, including pictures of partially-clothed women in sexually suggestive poses, and coded language indicating that the people being offered would perform sex acts in exchange for money.
The victims of BROOKS’s Sex Trafficking Enterprise were typically forced to engage in commercial sex acts with multiple customers in a single day. Customers typically paid for such commercial sex acts in cash. BROOKS kept most or all of the profits from his Sex Trafficking Enterprise.
BROOKS forced certain of his victims to take prescription pain relievers, to which they became addicted. In addition, BROOKS set rules for his victims, controlled their actions, and punished violations of his rules and disobedience through physical violence, among other things.
BROOKS is charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; two counts of sex trafficking of a minor and by force, fraud, or coercion, each of which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison; and one count of use of interstate facilities and interstate travel to promote a prostitution enterprise, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Any individuals who believe they have information concerning ADRIAN BROOKS, a/k/a “Abee,” that may be relevant to the investigation, or information regarding other sex trafficking crimes, should contact the FBI at (212) 384-1000 or https://tips.fbi.gov/, or the New York City Police Department at (646) 610-7272.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “Brooks’s alleged acts are horrendous, preying on and exploiting minors. Cases like this are disgraceful examples of the worst in our society. Sadly, too often these types of crimes are unknown or ignored in our communities. The FBI simply won’t tolerate this behavior. Our Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force will be relentless in pursuing those who target our youth. I encourage anyone with knowledge of trafficking activity to step forward to help us make a difference”
The investigation was conducted through the New York Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, a joint task force between the FBI and NYPD to combat human trafficking. Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the NYPD. Mr. Kim also thanked the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – Youth Services Unit and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services for their assistance during the investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth Hanft, Sagar K. Ravi, and Alexandra N. Rothman are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.