(CLEVELAND) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Vance Callander today announced the arrests of a human trafficking suspect and an alleged customer.
The Cuyahoga County Regional Human Trafficking Task Force secured indictments on Feb. 25 for human trafficking-related crimes for Rev. Dr. Randolph Brown, 64, and Joyce Richmond, 21, both residents of Cuyahoga County. Brown was charged with two counts of compelling prostitution (F3), and Richmond was charged with two counts of trafficking in persons (F1) and three counts of compelling prostitution (F3). Both individuals have been taken into custody.
“Indictments of coordinated operations like this don’t happen accidentally,” Yost said. “It’s the great work of our task force and partners in law enforcement, as well as Prosecutor O’Malley’s office who will now ensure that these traffickers stay behind bars.”
The indictments culminate an investigation into Richmond and her exploitation of three underage teenage girls who had run away from home.
“The allegations, in this case, are particularly troubling given Mr. Brown’s role as a spiritual leader in the community,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Vance Callander. “This investigation should, however, make clear that traffickers will be held accountable, regardless of the positions they occupy.”
The Cuyahoga County Regional Human Trafficking Task Force urges if you or anyone you know that may have been a victim or have information to share regarding Richmond or Brown, to please contact the task force at 216-443-6085.
The Cuyahoga Regional Human Trafficking Task Force is a task force through Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s Organized Crime Investigative Commission. The task force is comprised of investigators from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff Department, United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office, Ohio Investigative Unit, MetroHealth Police Department and Independence Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.