A federal judge on Monday sentenced a Baltimore bail bondsman to serve seven years in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

Charles Mario Brown Sr., 48, admitted he operated a prostitution business in the Baltimore area involving a 16-year-old female and at least four adult women, according to a plea agreement reached in May.

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U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, who handed down Brown’s sentence, ordered his prison time be followed by 15 years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.

The investigation into Brown began in December 2016 in Harford County.

On Dec. 9, 2016, an undercover Harford County Sheriff’s detective contacted a phone number found in the cell phone of a man who had died after a heroin overdose in an Edgewood hotel room in the presence of one of Brown’s adult female sex workers, according to the plea agreement.

The detective called to arrange a prostitute to meet him at an Edgewood hotel and to request heroin.

An unidentified co-conspirator of Brown’s had a 16-year-old runaway they had met in Baltimore the month prior, identified as “Victim 1” in the plea agreement, contact the detective and make arrangements, which included taking $1,000 for the purchase of heroin after arriving at the hotel.

Brown and the unidentified co-conspirator drove an adult female and the 16-year-old to the Edgewood hotel, according to the plea. There, the detective identified the 16-year-old from the prostitution ads Brown and his co-conspirator had posted online, and she identified herself by the name listed in the ads.

Police arrested Brown and his co-conspirator, who were waiting in an SUV outside the hotel room.

Forensic examinations of cell phones seized during the arrest revealed numerous communications indicating the prostitution business, according to the plea.

“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring human traffickers to justice,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a statement. “These violent criminals exploit our most vulnerable for profit and must be stopped.”

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