Man arrested in Appleton suspected of human trafficking in 9 states
A man being held in the Outagamie County Jail is accused of human trafficking in nine states, including Wisconsin.
Glenwood Brown, Jr. of Chicago was arrested on suspicion of trafficking two women in hotel rooms in Appleton and Grand Chute, the Wisconsin Department of Justice says.
The criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News, says the women were 26 and 30-years-old. The 30-year-old said she reached out to Brown because she was struggling to pay for her heroin habit. She also introduced Brown to her friend, the 26-year-old, who was addicted to heroin and methamphetamine.
“It’s a very easy means of control for that trafficker, because the addiction to something such as heroin is a real serious, physical addiction,” says Dawn Spang, Outreach Coordinator for Eye Heart World.
Prosecutors say the two women were trafficked out of a Fox Valley hotel room, and given small amounts of heroin as “payment.”
The women described Brown as “mentally manipulating,” saying he would, “constantly tell the girls that he would drop them off in the middle of nowhere, or leave them alone somewhere if they ever did anything to him.”
The women told officers they would have sex with men. Brown would wait in the lobby or hide in the hotel room then collect the money and buy them drugs and condoms. The 26-year-old said she made about $800 a night.
“These traffickers really are master manipulators at figuring out what someone's vulnerability is, and preying upon that,” Spang says.
Investigators searched Brown’s Facebook page, finding messages admitting to an “escort service,” saying, “I recruit [explicative] and put them on backpage…from town to town…city to city…lol.”
Backpage.com, a now defunct human trafficking site, had at least 225 posts made by Brown across nine states: Amarillo, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago and western Illinois; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, Michigan; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Omaha, Nebraska; St. Louis, Missouri; as well as Appleton, Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin.
If convicted on all counts in Wisconsin, Brown could face up to 25 years in prison. He’s set to appear in Outagamie County court Thursday morning.
While researching this case, Action 2 News reached out to human trafficking experts. If you know someone affected by human trafficking, contact law enforcement and be supportive.
“Continuing to stick by that person, showing the support. And just reminding them that you don't see them any different. That you are there, that you want to be able to help them,” says Shelby Mitchell, Sex Trafficking Victim Advocate, Sexual Assault Center and Family Services.
Mitchell says signs that your loved one is involved in human trafficking may be some of the following: new tattoos, new attitude, dressing more provocatively, travelling to places they usually don’t have the means to travel to, and unexplained absences or bruises.
If you or someone you know is involved in human trafficking, call 911. Or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. In Northeast Wisconsin, dialing 211 will also put you in contact with someone at the Sexual Assault Center.