An upstate duo is facing federal charges in a human trafficking case that involved the prostitution of two minors, according to an indictment returned on Wednesday.
Ashford James Simmons, 27, and Brittany Smith, 22, are facing 12 federal counts relating to the sex trafficking of minors and transporting them across state lines for prostitution.
The case has been ongoing for more than a year, according to the federal docket, with the complaint filed first on Sept. 29, 2015. According to the latest indictment, Simmons and Smith would recruit minors and young women to work for them as prostitutes, and split their earnings.
Simmons is accused of taking two girls, identified as “Minor One” and “Minor Two,” to North Carolina for prostitution. Smith and Simmons are accused of placing ads online for the girls as well.
The indictment also mentions a third woman, identified solely as “S.H.” Online ads were also placed on Aug. 19, 2015, for S.H. The indictment states S.H. was told by Smith she’d be given drugs “when you make some $$$.” Smith also allegedly told S.H. where to meet a client for sex and on a different date to come over for more condoms.
Simmons was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. Both are facing life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Their next hearing on the indictment is set for Nov. 28.