Bringing Light to the Darkness of Human Trafficking (Trafficking in Persons)

A former Silver Spring man pleaded guilty to sex trafficking two girls and tried to flee to Cameroon after his arrest.

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SILVER SPRING, MD — A former Silver Spring man pleaded guilty to sex trafficking two girls to a motel in College Park in the summer of 2017.

Roland Chick Akum, 25, is a citizen of Cameroon. He was arrested in August 2017 and purchased a one-way ticket from Dulles to Cameroon in September. He was arrested again in October.

According to his plea agreement, Akum transported a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old to the motel. He used Backpage, a website that marketed commercial sex, to advertise the girls, a Department of Justice statement said.

The 15-year-old girl left Akum and the hotel and contacted law enforcement authorities on July 7, 2017. 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, the statement said.

He tried to flee to Cameroon on a flight scheduled on October 12, 2017. Akum was arrested again on October 3, 2017, and remains in custody.

Akum faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life in prison, followed by up to lifetime of supervised release for each count of sex trafficking of a minor. He will be required to register as a sex offender.

Report suspected instances of human trafficking to HSI's tip line at 866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423) or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

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