Four men charged with human trafficking involving 14-year-old girl

JERSEY CITY– Three Jersey City men and one man from South Carolina were indicted on Oct. 9 by a state grand jury on first-degree charges of conspiracy, human trafficking and promoting prostitution of a minor for allegedly trafficking a 14-year-old girl in a prostitution ring they operated in hotels in and around Hudson County. The alleged boss of the ring also is charged with sexually assaulting a girl.
The four men charged were Michael A. McLeod, 24, of Jersey City, who was allegedly the “boss” of the ring; David Powell Jr., 29, of Jersey City; Tyree D. Jeter, 27, of Jersey City, and Demetrius James Hayward, 20, of Summerville, South Carolina. McLeod also is charged with sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal sexual contact.
The investigation began in April when the FBI Task Force received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that photos of the 14-year-old victim, who was a runaway from South Jersey, were being used in ads for a “female escort” on McLeod allegedly used violence or the threat of violence to control two victims who allegedly were prostituted by the defendants: the 14-year-old and an 18-year-old woman. Once, McLeod allegedly held a gun to the head of the 18-year-old and threatened to kill her. Other times, he allegedly beat and kicked her. The charges of promoting prostitution of a minor, endangering the welfare of a child, and sexual assault pertain to the 14-year-old victim. McLeod and his assistants allegedly put the victims up at hotels, where they were required to prostitute themselves under the control of the defendants. Each victim had sex with up to 10 customers a day, making up to $800, all of which McLeod allegedly collected. The four defendants were arrested in May.

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