Crime

She was taken through 4 other states before sex trafficked to Myrtle Beach, cops say

Myrtle Beach police have arrested at least one person in connection to a human trafficking incident involving a minor, according to arrest warrants.

Mark Cortez Spicer, 23, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is charged with trafficking in persons, fugitive and third-degree assault and battery.

Mark Cortez Spicer.jpg
Mark Cortez Spicer Courtesy of J. Reuben Long Detention Center

An affidavit said officers began a possible human trafficking investigation Thursday.

Police said Spicer, a co-defendant and a 16-year-old victim came to town Aug. 13 and were staying at the Budget Inn on Ocean Boulevard. The Sun News has reached out to Myrtle Beach police to find out the co-defendant’s charges.

Sex ads were posted online by the co-defendant for the victim, an affidavit said.

On Aug. 14, Spicer and the co-defendant took the victim on “an outcall” where sex acts were exchanged for money in the area of Mr. Joe White Avenue, authorities said.

The next day, Spicer and the co-defendant took the victim to Walmart on Seaboard Street for another call involving sex acts in exchange for money, an affidavit said.

Spicer, the co-defendant and the victim used the funds for food, gas and hotel expenses, authorities said.

The suspects traveled from Iowa to Chicago to Nashville and to Atlanta, all where sex acts took places, before coming to Myrtle Beach, an affidavit said.

The victim said Spicer was aware that she was performing sex acts for money and that Spicer benefited from the funds received over the course of the prostitution, records show. Police said the victim agreed to give Spicer money for the sex acts, authorities said.

No bail has been set for Spicer’s trafficking charge, online records show.

FBI agents and task force officers staged operations in hotels, casinos, and truck stops, as well as on street corners and Internet websites.

Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765, @HannahLStrong

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