Jeremy Naughton, a/k/a "Jerms Black"
A federal grand jury today indicted Jeremy Naughton, a/k/a “Jerms Black,” age 31, of Brooklyn, New York, on charges related to sex trafficking, including transporting individuals to engage in prostitution, kidnapping, and use of a gun in furtherance of a crime of violence.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
“Prostitution is sometimes glamorized, but for most girls it brings violence and despair,” said Rod J. Rosenstein. “The indictment alleges that Jeremy Naughton kidnapped young women, held them against their will, and used violence and threats to compel them to work for him as prostitutes.”
According to the 11 count indictment, beginning in the fall of 2008, Jeremy Naughton contacted females who posted advertisements for prostitution services on various websites and arranged to meet these women in hotel rooms. The indictment alleges that Naughton then assaulted and threatened the prostitutes with a handgun and/or physical violence to force them to work for him, often detaining them until they agreed. Naughton allegedly stole the women’s personal belongings, such as cell phones and personal computers to prevent them from communicating with others and maintained control over the prostitutes through physical assault, confinement and threats. The indictment alleges that Naughton transported the women between Maryland, New York and other states in order for them to engage in prostitution.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that in the fall of 2008, Naughton entered the hotel room of one woman, stole her laptop and cell phone, hit her in the face and forced her to leave the hotel with him. In addition, the indictment charges that on February 8, 2010, Naughton kidnapped a prostitute from her hotel room in Silver Spring, Maryland, threatened her with a gun and forced her to travel with him to his apartment in Brooklyn, New York, where he detained her. Further, the indictment alleges that in June 2010, Naughton snapped the neck of another prostitute’s pet dog with his hands in order to intimidate her. The indictment also alleges that in September of 2010, Naughton entered another victim’s hotel room, demanded that she work for him, stole her cellular telephone and money and transported her to his apartment, where he forced her to perform oral sex.
Naughton faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for kidnapping; a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison for each of four counts of sex trafficking; a maximum of 10 years in prison on each of four counts of transporting an individual to engage in prostitution; seven years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Naughton is scheduled to have a detention hearing today at 4:00 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jillyn K. Schulze.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
The case was investigated by the Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force, with assistance from the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, which was formed in 2007 to discover and rescue victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. Members of both task forces include federal, state and local law enforcement. The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force also includes victim service providers and local community members. For more information about the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, please visit www.justice.gov/usao/md/Human-Trafficking/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI’s Baltimore and New York offices and the Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security and the New York Police Department for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan F. Lenzner and Mark W. Crooks, who are prosecuting the case.