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Sanders charged with human trafficking in Great Falls

Officers responded to the Motel 6 on the SW side of Great Falls
Posted: 4:19 PM, Aug 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-16 13:06:26-04
Brandon Cameron Sanders charged with human trafficking and aggravated prostitution in Great Falls
Brandon Cameron Sanders charged with human trafficking and aggravated prostitution in Great Falls
Brandon Cameron Sanders charged with human trafficking and aggravated prostitution in Great Falls
Brandon Cameron Sanders charged with human trafficking and aggravated prostitution in Great Falls

GREAT FALLS — Brandon Cameron Sanders has been charged in Great Falls with human trafficking and aggravated promotion of prostitution.

Court documents state that police officers responded on Wednesday to the Motel 6 on the southwest side of Great Falls for a report of suspicious activity. The caller reported seeing a man in a vehicle in the parking lot while a woman had several male guests in one of the motel rooms.

The caller reported seeing a man leave the motel room, use an ATM, and then go back inside the room. Motel staff confirmed to investigating officers that the room had been rented by Sanders.

When questioned by police, Sanders denied engaging in any suspicious activity and "accused officers of being racist, as he is African American," according to court documents.

A motel employee told police that a man and a woman had rented the room the previous day, and the man later left the room and sat in the parking lot; during that time, "men started entering the hotel in quick succession, one at a time, and leaving after approximately fifteen minutes."

Officers were told that a "Do Not Disturb" had been placed on the door of the room; such signs are not used or authorized by Motel 6 due to concerns of human trafficking, according to court documents.

When officers talked with the woman who had been inside the room, she declined to identify herself, and said that she had to go to the lobby to talk to her husband.

After receiving a search warrant, police officers searched Sanders' vehicle and the motel room. In the room, officers found unopened condoms, used condom wrappers, a sex toy, a garbage bag full of used baby wipes, a cell phone, medical records for the woman, and prescriptions for Sanders.

In the car, officers found marijuana and related paraphernalia, along with medical records for the woman; the medical documents were from the previous day at a Great Falls clinic, and documented a "medical issue which officers are aware is common to individuals who engage in sexual activity with multiple partners in a short period of time."

Sanders and the woman were taken to the Great Falls Police Department for further questioning. The woman initially declined to talk with officers or identify herself, and Sanders said that she would not talk to them unless he told her to.

The woman eventually admitted to engaging in prostitution in Great Falls and other areas of the c ountry. She said that she and Sanders were married, and she began engaging in prostitution after she and Sanders began dating, but before they married.

She told police that Sanders kept "the majority" of the money she earned, but she had been trying to save small amounts for herself without his knowledge as a "backup plan" to leave him; she said she had managed to save $300 so far. She also said that they had recently arrived in Great Falls from Illinois.

The woman told police that she is from Germany and had come to the United States to attend college, and that Sanders was her first boyfriend, and she had been very naive when they began dating. She then said that prostitution began as an idea that Sanders had come up with in order for them make money. The woman also "voiced a desire to return to her family in Germany."

Sanders denied any suspicious activity, and continued to state that the entire situation was "ridiculous," again accusing officers of being racist.

Court documents note that the woman's wallet and ID card were kept in the vehicle with Sanders in his possession, which one officer noted is a common tactic that human traffickers use in order to maintain control over their victims.

Sanders is charged with three felonies: trafficking of person; aggravated promotion of prostitution; and property subject to forfeiture-human trafficking.

Sanders is also charged with two misdemeanors: criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.