BALTIMORE Two men--one of them a city firefighter--are facing federal charges. Prosecutors say they were caught running a prostitution ring. As Gigi Barnett explains, the illegal business allegedly involved a minor, reports CBS affiliate WJZ-TV.
Thirty-year-old Jamar Simmons, a Baltimore firefighter, and 33-year-old Franklin Coit face federal charges. Federal prosecutors say their business used underage women.
"If you run a prostitution business, it's bad enough. If you have somebody under 18 in that prostitution business, you face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison," said U.S. Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein says the men based their prostitution ring out of a former warehouse -- and it's a crime Simmons has faced before. Back in 2010, Baltimore County detectives responded to a prostitution ad posted by Simmons. The firefighter received a one-year probation sentence and a $300 fine but he kept his job.
Now Rosenstein says his office is aggressively pursuing sex trafficking crimes, especially those involving children and teens.
"Any case in which someone under 18 has been recruited to be a prostitute or advertised on the internet as a prostitute, those cases are going to receive the highest priority of attention from the federal government," Rosenstein said.
According to court documents, Simmons posted a $50,000 bond and was released.
The fire department has since suspended Simmons without pay pending an internal investigation.