LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police say two men were convicted on multiple charges related to their roles in prostitution and human trafficking in and around Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York Counties.
According to police, an investigation with special units and officers was initiated in April of 2017 to look into human trafficking.
The investigation involved undercover officers who responded to ads posted on websites known for sex trafficking and arranged “dates” with women posted in the ads.
Police say several of the women who were approached by the officers asked for help to be rescued from their sexual servitude.
State police turned over their investigation to a grand jury that concluded 35-year-old Kenneth Crowell of Blackwood, New Jersey and Barry Schiff, 52, of Galloway, New Jersey, carried out a corrupt organization involved in the human trafficking of young women for the commercial sex trade.
According to police, while both men recruited young women, Crowell was responsible for posting the advertisements and communicating with “customers”, while Schiff used drugs to lure some victims into prostitution and then control them.
The victims had to turn over any payment from “customers” to Crowell and Schiff.
In November of 2017 the grand jury handed down a presentment recommending numerous charges be filed against both men related to their roles in the human trafficking organization.
On November 24 and 27, 2017, Crowell and Schiff were arrested and taken into custody by state police.
After an eight-day jury trial held in Lancaster County, Crowell and Schiff were convicted of charges including; corrupt organizations, conspiracy, trafficking in individuals, involuntary solitude, and promoting prostitution.