Man held 3 women captive, forced them into prostitution, cops say
MAYS LANDING -- Authorities have arrested a man they said held three women captive, forcing them into prostitution and other labor by threatening them and doling out heroin.
El Joshua, of Pearce Road in Mays Landing, was arrested after a two-month investigation between Hamilton Police and the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, according to an announcement from the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.
It wasn't immediately clear from the announcement how or when Joshua first allegedly captured the women, or how long they'd been in captivity. One woman escaped through a window and alerted authorities, leading to the rescue of the others, the prosecutor's office said.
Joshua was arrested without incident on Thursday, the prosecutor's office said. He was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking, criminal restraint, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
“Human trafficking is a serious problem that plagues our community. Whether through prostitution or other forms of forced labor, such as restaurants and nail salons, we as a community must recognize the signs and report suspected incidents to law enforcement immediately," Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
Joshua has been lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility, and the State has moved to detain him. A detention hearing will be held on Wednesday.
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