The historic roots of slaves fleeing from slavery during the 1850’s led to the creation of the Underground Railroad on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Religious figures, former slaves, those opposed to slavery all joined together to hide fugitive slaves from Maryland and other Southern States as they worked their way north to freedom.
Now police have arrested two black men who kept women as their slaves and sold them as prostitutes, beat them and kept them under lock and key….allegedly…
Here is the story…
(PRINCESS ANNE, MD) – Troopers arrested two men yesterday in Somerset County on human trafficking and related charges after two women traveling with them were found held against their will.
The first suspect is identified as Travon Anthony, 33, who is also known to use the name Katone Walker, of the 600 block of Humel Avenue in Leymoyne, Pennsylvania. He was charged with two counts of human trafficking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. Anthony is currently being held at the Somerset County Detention Center without bond.
The second suspect is identified as Kyree Tatem, 23, of the 100 block of E. East Street in Delmar, Maryland. He was charged with two counts of human trafficking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment, as well as possession of heroin. Tatem is currently being held at the Somerset County Detention Center without bond.
The victims are both women from Maryland, ages 20 and 25. The Maryland State Police does not identify victims of sexual assault.
The investigation began around 6:00 p.m. yesterday, when investigators from the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division along with uniformed troopers from Princess Anne Barrack responded to a hotel after receiving information from one of the victim’s family members that she was being held against her will. After establishing a room location, troopers knocked on the door making contact with Kyree Tatem and both victims. During initial interviews, it was revealed that Travon Anthony was running the operation and he had gone to pick up belongings left in a Delaware hotel.
The preliminary investigation indicates both women traveled with Anthony and Tatem from Delaware to Maryland. Both women had engaged in prostitution and initially agreed to have Anthony arrange clients. Tatem acted as security and kept a watch on the victims in Anthony’s absence.
One of the victims was physically beaten by Anthony on November 30 prior to being brought to Maryland from Delaware. During the beating, Anthony threatened to kill her if she tried to leave. Fearing for their lives, both remained.
Anthony and Tatem transported the women to Maryland and checked them in to a Somerset County hotel. While traveling, one of the women was able to send a message to a family member alerting them to her situation. The family member immediately alerted police.
Members of the Maryland State Police Gang Enforcement Unit were able to locate the vehicle Anthony was known to operate. He was stopped and arrested without incident.
Investigators have contacted detectives in Delaware advising them of the criminal activity that occurred in their area. The Somerset County state’s attorney’s office has also been contacted and was consulted throughout this investigation.