TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a woman and a man from Atlantic County were arrested and charged with first-degree human trafficking for allegedly trafficking a 14-year-old girl for sex at a casino hotel in Atlantic City and in other parts of South Jersey. A man who allegedly paid to have sex with the 14-year-old victim in his home was arrested this week.
Tiffany N. Davis, 39, of Egg Harbor Township, and Derrick V. Ross, 26, of Atlantic City, were arrested on the following charges:
- Human Trafficking (1st degree),
- Promoting Prostitution of a Child Under 18 (1st degree),
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child (2nd degree).
Davis also is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Human Trafficking (1st degree). Ross was arrested on November 27, 2019, and Davis, on January 17, 2020.
On Tuesday, January 28, 2020, the State Police arrested Kurt C. Young, 52, of South Dennis Township, N.J., a retired state correction officer, for allegedly engaging in sexual acts with the 14-year-old girl in his home. He allegedly arranged with Tiffany Davis for the girl to be transported to his home for sex in exchange for money. Young is charged with:
- Sexual Assault of a Child Under the Age of 16 (2nd degree), and
- Engaging in Prostitution with a Minor (2nd degree).
The arrests were the result of an anti-sex trafficking investigation conducted by the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, with assistance from the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. As part of the investigation, the State Police responded by phone to an online “escort” ad. The person who answered agreed she would meet the undercover detective at a casino hotel in Atlantic City. The 14-year-old victim, who is not related to either Davis or Ross, was recovered by the State Police on November 27, 2019, when she arrived at the hotel as arranged and offered to have sex with an undercover detective. Pursuant to AG Directive 2012-2 on Investigation of Human Trafficking, the victim was immediately connected with support services.
Ross was arrested later that day after it was determined that he allegedly transported the 14-year-old victim to the hotel to engage in sex for money. Further investigation revealed that Davis allegedly had placed online ads and had trafficked the victim to have sex with a number of men during the month of November, with the assistance of Ross. Davis and Ross allegedly split the proceeds generated from trafficking the victim.
“Investigating and prosecuting human trafficking is a top priority for the Attorney General’s Office, the New Jersey State Police, and law enforcement throughout New Jersey,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This case involves a situation that is tragically all too familiar, where a vulnerable young victim is trapped in a life of sexual slavery. We will never cease in our efforts to rescue these victims and bring those who brutally exploit them to justice.”
“Human trafficking transcends the laws we have on the books. These are not crimes against state or country; they are crimes against humanity,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue our commitment to aggressively pursue human traffickers by working with not only our law enforcement partners, but also with the public, which is why we urge anyone who observes a suspicious circumstance involving a child or adolescent to report it immediately.”
“We will continue to collaborate with the New Jersey State Police and law enforcement at all levels to conduct proactive operations aimed at uncovering human trafficking and arresting those responsible,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Because these crimes are often hidden from view and victims feel powerless to escape their traffickers, we urge members of the public to call our human trafficking hotline if they see a child or teenager in suspicious circumstances.”
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone who suspects human trafficking to call the Division of Criminal Justice’s confidential Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-855-END-NJ-HT.
Deputy Attorney General Katelyn Waegener of the Specialized Crimes Bureau, Casino Prosecutions Unit, is assigned to prosecute the case, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Valerie Butler, Bureau Chief Andrew B. Johns, and DCJ Deputy Director Christine Hoffman. New Jersey State Police Detective Sgt. Mark Devine of the Casino Gaming Bureau, Special Investigations Unit, led the investigation.
The first-degree human trafficking charge carries a sentence of 20 years without parole to life in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. The other first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
For Davis: Michael H. Schreiber, Esq., Atlantic City, N.J.
For Ross: Steven F. Funk, Esq., Atlantic City, N.J.
For Young: Undetermined..