Houston prostitution ring operator arrested

Houston prostitution ring operator arrested

HOUSTON (AP) - A 27-year-old Houston man authorities say ran a prostitution ring where women were forced into sexual slavery has been arrested on a charge of continuous trafficking of persons.

The Harris County district attorney's office said Friday that Anthony Gardner is accused of using at least eight women, two of them minors, to work Houston streets since November 2014. One 17-year-old woman had Gardner's street name - "Trouble" - tattooed on her chest as a sign of his ownership.

Authorities say the women were forced to make $1,000 daily for sex acts and were brutalized if they didn't reach that quota.

Prosecutors say they believe this is the first time the charge, created by lawmakers in 2011, has been filed in Harris County. Gardner could get life in prison if convicted.

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