South Jersey Man Facing Human Trafficking Charges
VENTNOR, NJ (CBS) – A South Jersey man has been arrested on human trafficking traffic charges.
Marc A. Branch, 39, of Ventnor, was arrested just after 11 p.m. on Friday night at his apartment on North Newport Avenue by members of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Human Trafficking Unit and members of the FBI Human Trafficking Task Force in Atlantic City for allegedly running a human trafficking and male prostitution ring out of his home.
Branch is thought to have lured young men ranging in age from late teens to early 20s who were estranged from their families to his apartment with offers of money, drugs, friendship and even shelter. Branch then gave the victims alcohol and drugs and prostituted them to male clients, who paid up to $200 to engage in sexual acts. Sometimes, Branch gave a share of the money to his victims. Branch posted nude pictures of his victims on social media and websites like Craigslist to get customers.
Additionally, Branch gave drugs to one victim, who was under the age of 18, and then allowed a male client to sexually assault him.
Branch is charged with the following crimes: human trafficking (1st degree), sexual assault (2nd degree), prostituting a minor (2nd degree), operating a house of prostitution (3rd degree), and promoting prostitution (3rd degree). It is anticipated that additional charges will be filed. Branch is being held in the Atlantic County Jail with bail set at $250,000. No first appearance for Branch has been scheduled at this time.