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Howard County jury finds Waldorf man guilty of human trafficking

Ronald Willis Cheek, 49, was found guilty on Jan. 29 by a jury in Howard County Circuit Court of four counts of human trafficking.
Ronald Willis Cheek, 49, was found guilty on Jan. 29 by a jury in Howard County Circuit Court of four counts of human trafficking. (Photo courtesy of Howard County State's Attorney's Office)

A jury in Howard County Circuit Court found a Waldorf man guilty Wednesday of four counts of human trafficking.

Ronald Willis Cheek, 49, was arrested in July after Howard County police received a tip about suspicious activity at the Terrace Motel in the 6200 block of Washington Boulevard in Elkridge.

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When officers arrived, they found four women from Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, ages 20 to 28, at the motel, Howard police said. Cheek was then taken into custody for an open arrest warrant for fraud in Virginia.

At the time, the four women told police Cheek paid for the motel room, food, clothing and drugs.

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“Human trafficking cases are very difficult to prove,” said Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson. “The victims are often so traumatized they don’t want to testify and that means predators, like Mr. Cheek, are able to continue their destructive behavior. I am grateful that in this case, through the efforts of our prosecution and Howard County police, we were able to convince the jury of the true nature of Mr. Cheek’s conduct.”

The guilty verdict comes hours after Howard County police arrested nine men in Jessup and charged them with solicitation of prostitution and disorderly conduct, also on Washington Boulevard.

Cheek will be sentenced on Feb. 21 in Howard County Circuit Court.

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