An Elkton man has been charged with human trafficking after staff from an Ellicott City hotel suspected prostitution in one of their rooms, Howard County police said Monday.
In addition to human trafficking charges, Berris Munroe, 39, also faces charges of prostitution and disorderly conduct, police said.
After hotel staff called the police, officers responded and found a 21-year-old woman in the room with Munroe. During their investigation, police said detectives learned that Munroe was planning for the woman to travel to and from New York on a regular basis, advertising her as a prostitute on the Backpage website, which police said is commonly used for prostitution or human trafficking.
Police said they believe Munroe took money from the woman after arranging for her to meet with several men for prostitution. The woman was later referred to Hope Works of Howard County, a domestic violence center, to help in her return to New York.
Munroe was arrested and later released on $15,000 bond. No lawyer was on record, according to Maryland Judiciary case search.
Howard County has increased its funding for victims' services and police training in its efforts to combat prostitution and human trafficking. Anyone with information about human trafficking should call 410-313-STOP or HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.