Two people have been arrested in connection to a human trafficking case involving a teenaged girl.
A press release from the Myrtle Beach Police Department says the department is investigating a case of human trafficking involving a 16-year-old girl. On August 16, the department began its investigation into possible human trafficking by assigning detectives “who are specially trained in these types of cases.”
The investigation led to the arrest of Mark Cortez Spicer, according to the release.
The department also had outstanding warrants for the arrest of Phylicia Marie King. King, according to the department, was taken into custody in Iowa. She is currently awaiting extradition to South Carolina.
“Our first priority is the safety and protection of the victims,” said Chief Prock in the release. “We will continue to work diligently to bring the persons responsible to justice.”
According to arrest warrants, Spicer, the victim, and another person came to the Myrtle Beach area on August 13 and were staying at the Budget Inn, located at 501 N. Ocean Blvd. Sex ads were posted online for the 16-year-old by another person. On August 14, Spicer and another person took the victim to the area of Mr. Joe White Avenue, where a sex act was exchanged for money.
The arrest warrants also say, on August 15, Spicer and another person took the defendant to Walmart, located at 541 Seaboard Street, where money was exchanged for sex acts. The money was used by Spicer, the victim, and another person for food, gas, and hotel expenses.
According to the warrants, Spicer, the victim, and another person had traveled from Iowa to Chicago, to Nashville, to Atlanta, and then to Myrtle Beach. The victim told police Cortez was aware that she was performing sex acts for money and that he benefited from the money obtained during the course of prostitution. The victim also said she was doing the acts to fund and support them during their trip.
Arrest warrants also say Spicer has warrants out of Illinois for probation violation.
A report from the Myrtle Beach Police Department says officers responded to the 500 block of 5th Avenue N. in Myrtle Beach around 5:45 p.m. on August 16 in reference to a wanted person and a female possibly being held against her will.
According to J. Reuben Long Detention Center booking records, Spicer is 23 years old and from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was booked around 8:21 p.m. on Saturday and remains in the center. His charges include assault/assault and battery third degree, fugitive, and trafficking in persons.
The release adds an investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information about human trafficking is asked to contact the MBPD at 843-918-1382.