(KRON) — A human trafficker who was arrested in November 2019 has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison, according to a post on the City of Brentwood Police Department’s Facebook page. William Ross, who was 38 at the time of his arrest, has been convicted of pimping, assault with a deadly weapon, and felon in possession of a firearm.
The arrest stems from an August 2019 incident in which Brentwood PD responded to a call regarding a welfare check for a woman who had been involved in a physical altercation with Ross, according to the Facebook post. Investigating patrol officers noticed several signs indicating the woman was a victim of human trafficking early in the investigation.
Through the investigation it was further determined that while Ross was not physically trafficking the women in Brentwood, he was traveling to areas known for commercial sex work. In one such incident, Ross violently dragged the woman several feet along the pavement while he drove down the street. These injuries prompted a friend of the victim to call the police out of concern for her safety.
Detectives went on to learn that Ross was actively seeking out other women for commercial sex work using social media.
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“An unintended consequence of social media applications, such as Instagram or Snap Chat, has created an environment where traffickers can seek out and take their time recruiting their victims,” said Brentwood PD Detective Agostinho. “Over the recent years our investigations have increasingly involved analyzing countless hours of these types of records — including this case.”
When detectives eventually executed a search warrant at Ross’ home they found two firearms, several thousand dollars of cash and other evidence related to human trafficking, including “go bags” full of lingerie, toiletries and contraceptives.