A prominent Black Lives Matter organizer and co-founder was arrested last month and charged with human trafficking and prostitution.
Charles Wade was busted at a Howard Johnson Inn in College Park, Maryland, on April 25. Wade was living at a motel room where he allegedly pimped a 17-year-old girl, police said, according to The Daily Caller.
Wade was charged with seven counts relating to felony human trafficking and prostitution, but he he posted a $25,000 bond shortly after his arrest, according to a statement he released on Twitter Wednesday. The charges carry sentences of up to 25 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Charles Wade co-founded Operation Help or Hush after the August 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The group claims it helps raise funds for the needy and provides food and shelter for activists, the Caller reported.
Wade denied the charges to the D.C.-based website.
Said the Caller:
Formerly a stylist for Solange Knowles, the sister of Beyonce, Wade has been featured in numerous news articles about the Black Lives Matter movement. He was also invited by the White House earlier this week to a movie screening with other Black Lives Matter activists. Wade says he did not attend the function, which was on Tuesday.
Last year, a team of Washington Post reporters, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Wesley Lowery, included Wade in a profile of Black Lives Matter activists who protested after the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson.
The Post piece referred to questions about Wade’s fundraising activities — which he and his group conduct mostly through Twitter — but offered a largely glowing portrayal of the activist.
Wade was arrested as part of a sting operation in which an undercover officer responded to an ad Wade allegedly placed for a 23-year-old woman on backpage.com, a website frequently used by sex traffickers and prostitutes.
“Holla at me. Quick stay specials tonight and tomorrow. Independent. Fun and sexy. Text me to set up an appointment???????” read the ad, which listed the age of the poster as 23.
Police said the woman, who turned out to be a 17-year-old girl, called Wade her manager. She said that Wade knew she was a minor but wasn’t worried because of her upcoming birthday, police said. She also told investigators that she provided all the money she earned to Wade, The Daily Caller reported.
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