Man arrested in Billings charged with sex trafficking - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Man arrested in Billings charged with sex trafficking

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Terrance Edwards Terrance Edwards

The man arrested in Billings after he reportedly held a woman captive for 11 days will face charges of sex trafficking.

On Monday, Terrance Edwards, 34, was charged in federal court in Missoula with the offense of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

Court documents state that Edwards was arrested at the Rodeway Inn in Billings in a joint operation between the Billings Police, the FBI, and the Division of Criminal Investigation. Law enforcement believed a 22-year-old missing Polson woman was with him.

When law enforcement arrived, the woman was in the room by herself. She told officers she met Edwards online, and met him in Missoula on Sept. 10 to begin what she believed was a "dating relationship."

According to the woman, she said Edwards took her to buy clothing and when she picked something that was "not sexy enough" he gave her a number of items to choose from.

The next day, Edwards told her of his plan to make money by posting advertisements on Backpage.com, saying she was available in a money for sex deal.

Agents were able to access the advertisements. The site advertised she was available in Billings, Missoula, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Edwards told the woman he wanted her to make $1,500 the first day. According to court documents, she met with different men and had sex and made Edwards $1,400.

During the 11 days, Edwards prostituted the woman as far away as Salt Lake City, Utah.

According to documents, business was too slow on the sex website, and Edwards instructed the woman to walk the streets to attract other customers.

During that time, Edwards traveled to Washington state to pick up another woman.

Both women were part of a commercial sex transaction with a Billings man on Sept 19.

Edwards had instructed the woman to not look at or acknowledge any men other than those who might be willing to pay for sex, court documents state. 

While at the Rodeway Inn in Billings, the woman looked up at a man who walked past the car, which is when she said Edwards struck her in the face.

Edwards also told the woman he had a gun, though she told law enforcement she never saw a firearm. The woman feared for her safety.

According to documents, around  5 p.m. on Sept. 19, both women were left alone when Edwards left to "pick up additional girls."  They had a cell phone and were able to call law enforcement. 

In phone conversations with Edwards, the women were able to determine the man was hours away attempting to pick up the other women.

On Sept. 21 around 6:45 a.m., an FBI agent saw Edwards’ vehicle parked near the Rodeway Inn.

As the FBI waited for a state agent to arrive, Billings police independently responded to a call that Edwards had been sighted.

When they approached Edwards, agents asked for his cell phone but when he handed it over it was severely damaged.  Edwards said he was simply frustrated and that caused him to destroy the phone.

Edwards told the FBI agent he had rented a room at the motel. A Billings police officer had already gained access to the room and located three teenagers.

The teens were a 17-year-old female from Minnesota, a 15-year-old female from North Dakota, and a 16-year-old female also from North Dakota.

According to the teens, there were picked up by Edwards from a Fargo, North Dakota address on Sept 20.

One of the teens had initiated contact with Edwards over the internet, and Edwards told her he would pick her up and they would "make money together."

Two of the teens were aware that Edwards was planning on using them for prostitution. The third teen said she didn't know the purpose of the trip with Edwards but went with him anyway. 

The woman from Polson told law enforcement that on Sept. 19 Edwards had her drive him to a court hearing in Missoula so he could be discharged from supervision from his prior charge of prostitution.  At that point, Edwards had been trafficking the woman for nine days.


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