For more than two decades, Allen “Prince” Brown lured women into the sex trades with a mix of narcotics and coercion, authorities said. The houses of prostitution he established in Jersey City were “stables” of strung-out women, who were often locked into rooms and stripped of keys, cellphones and all forms of identity.
Brown, who in April pleaded guilty to racketeering and extortion, ran his operation with scores of women he had brought from Camden, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and other communities.
“Allen Brown exploited vulnerable young women, imprisoning them in a life of prostitution and narcotics addiction,” said Paula Dow, New Jersey’s attorney general. “Now it is his turn to face prison, where he will not be able to harm any more women.”
Brown must serve 10 years and 10 months before he can be eligible for parole, according to the sentence handed down Wednesday by Superior Court Judge Kevin G. Callahan in Hudson County.
His 2009 indictment arrest came as a result of “Operation Red Light,” a joint investigation by Jersey City police and the state attorney general’s Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Accomplices, including members of Brown’s family, have pleaded guilty.
Authorities said Brown’s operation, which last operated from an upscale condominium complex on Jersey City’s Newark Bay waterfront, constituted a “major human trafficking” ring involving the coordinated import of women from across New Jersey and beyond.
Police said many of Brown’s victims were given heroin and cocaine so he could exploit and control them through addiction. In some cases, police said, Brown and his accomplices threatened violence against the family members of women who resisted his efforts.
Brown’s prostitutes were driven to “tracks” in Jersey City or other locations and were expected to turn a quota of tricks. If they did not make their quota of $500 to $1,000, police said, they were denied drugs or beaten.
State officials say they have no way of knowing how pervasive such trafficking is within New Jersey. But they pointed out that there have been several notable arrests in recent years as state and federal law enforcement officials increasingly focus on the issue.
The Polaris Project, a Washington-based non-profit group that works with victims of sex trafficking, cites studies showing that hundreds of thousands of American minors and youth are at risk of being exploited in sex trades. Organized crime groups both within and outside the country are increasingly seeing sex slavery and other forms of trafficking as profit centers, experts say.
A 10-year-old federal law that established human trafficking as a felony has resulted in a number of investigations led by the FBI, Department of Justice or the Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch of the Department of Homeland Security. In many cases, experts say, trafficking cases become part of larger drug or homeland security probes.
The law can be used to prosecute domestic pimps and others who use coercion to force American women into prostitution.
Police said Brown made hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. Much of the proceeds were laundered by friends and family members who held titles on his homes and vehicles. Both Brown’s niece and his 73-year-old mother, Tecora P. Brown, were involved in laundering, police said.
Tecora Brown has pleaded guilty to money laundering and promoting prostitution. She has yet to be sentenced.
State officials have set up a human-trafficking hot line (1-877-986-7534) and a website, njhumantrafficking.gov.
There are also several bills pending in the state Legislature to increase awareness of the problem. Respect NorthJersey.com