A Dorchester man with a long criminal record pleaded guilty yesterday to both federal sex-trafficking charges and to charges he talked about "taking out" or kidnapping people who might have been testifying against him.
Bruce "Arki" Brown faces sentencing on Feb. 10. on charges of sex trafficking of a minor; transportation of a minor for purposes of prostitution, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion (two counts), obstruction of justice and witness tampering, the US Attorney's office reports. He faces a potential life sentence just for sex trafficking of a minor.
The indictment against Brown and an alleged fellow conspirator charges that between 2004 and 2019, Brown pimped out four women and that in 2012, he transported a teenager to Maine to work for him as a prostitute.
Had he come to trial, prosecutors, say, "each of the victims will testify about Brown’s methodical exertion and maintenance of control over them through his use of force, fraud, and coercion in connection with the charged offenses."
According to an affidavit by a Newton police officer who worked with the FBI on the case, after Brown was first indicted last year, one person who knew him contacted the FBI because he was talking about "taking out" people he thought would testify him.
The affidavit says Brown also talked to people who visited or called him at a federal detention facility in Rhode Island that he needed their help convincing possible witnesses and victims to tell investigators everything was a big mistake, to, as he said in one case after it sunk in he could be facing life, "just write a letter saying, yo, misunderstanding, ya feel me? And get it notarized, you know what I mean? No hard feelings, something like that, ya feel me? I really need help right now."
But, the affidavit continues, the co-conspirator Brown was talking about also talked about getting the victim in question to his apartment and then keeping her locked up there until after Brown's trial. The co-conspirator first tried to feel out the victim via Facebook; she immediately reported that to the FBI - and showed them screen captures of his messages, one of which ended:
He just called me and said he wants to talk to you and make sure there isn't any issues and he wants me to look after you ... Plz hmu sweetness and you put on some weight but you still look yummy.
According to prosecutors, even as he was trafficking women, Brown was engaged in a whole series of other criminal activities that resulted in numerous convictions on state charges over the years on everything from assault and battery to drug trafficking.
The Defendant has an extensive criminal history evidencing numerous arrests and dozens of prior criminal convictions. Based upon the government’s review of Brown’s record, he has been charged with at least 52 felonies and 42 misdemeanors. Of those charges, he has been convicted of at least 11 felonies (including convictions for Assault and Battery, Possession with Intent to Distribute Class B and Class D substances, Distributing Class B Substances, and Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substance Act) and 28 misdemeanors, respectively.
In 2016, prosecutors say, Boston Police conducted a search of Brown's apartment at 99 Wayland St. in Dorchester and found a plastic bag full of crack, more bags and a scale and a box of 31 rounds of ammunition - in addition to a female pal and two young children, one his, one hers. In 2015, police found him with a loaded gun in a jacket he was wearing while on a car trip - he was charged with various gun violations and being a Level 3 armed career criminal.
The government detailed these and other charges in an August, 2020 motion urging a federal judge to reject Brown's request to be released from federal detention because of Covid-19. The judge agreed with prosecutors that Brown's criminal past, his indictments for witness tampering in the sex-trafficking case and the fact he was facing up to life in prison far outweighed any risk he might face from Covid-19, especially since he had none of the underlying conditions that would put him at higher risk.
Brown then contracted the virus, after which he again requested to be sprung from the Wyatt facility; prosecutors made the same basic arguments and said he had come down with only a relatively mild case of the illness, from which he soon recovered.