Baltimore,Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Roland Chick Akum, age 25, formerly of Silver Spring, Maryland, to 12 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for two counts of sex trafficking of a minor. Judge Blake imposed the sentence on September 18, 2018, and also ordered that, upon his release from prison, Akum must register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to Akum’s plea agreement, between June and August 2017, Akum, a/k/a “Rayne,” transported two minor females, 15 and 17 years old, respectively, to a motel in College Park, Maryland, in order to engage in commercial sex acts. Akum used Backpage, a website that marketed commercial sex, to advertise the girls and kept a portion of the proceeds that customers paid the girls for commercial sex acts. On July 7, 2017, the 15-year-old girl left Akum and the hotel and contacted law enforcement authorities. Akum continued to traffic the 17-year-old girl until he was arrested on August 10, 2017, as part of an undercover operation targeting Backpage, and was released on bond the following day.
On September 30, 2017, Akum, who is a citizen of Cameroon, purchased a one-way ticket from Dulles International Airport to Cameroon, scheduled to depart on October 12, 2017. Akum was arrested again on October 3, 2017, and remains in custody.
This case was investigated by the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, formed in 2007 to discover and rescue victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. Members include federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as victim service providers and local community members. For more information about the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, please visithttp://www.justice.gov/usao/md/priorities_human.html.
Report suspected instances of human trafficking to HSI’s tip line at 866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423) or by completing itsonline tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended HSI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks and Chief Tim Altomare of the Anne Arundel County Police Department for their assistance. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary A. Myers and Ray D. McKenzie, who prosecuted the case.