- Raisa Habersham The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
An Alabama inmate originally from Georgia and a woman face human trafficking charges after authorities say the two lured a California teen to Alabama, prostituted her and used her money to pay for legal fees.
Darrell Davonne Spell, a known gang member from Cumming, was already in the Jefferson County jail in Birmingham on drug charges when authorities received a tip that he and Francesca St. Rose, of Jonesboro, were trafficking a 19-year-old at a hotel, according to a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office news release.
CRIME & PUBLIC SAFETY: Want more stories like this one? Go to www.myajc.com/crime/
The investigation revealed Spell was the mastermind behind an extensive prostitution ring.
Detectives said Spell would call St. Rose to tell her how to advertise the victim online, where to take her and which hotels to use. Afterward, St. Rose would collect the money and deposit it into Spell’s inmate account, police said.
But the cash flow came to an end last week when detectives found St. Rose and the victim at a hotel near Highway 280 in southern Jefferson County.
The frightened teen told authorities Spell’s gang-related affiliations made her fear for her safety, so she complied with the couple’s orders.
St. Rose eventually admitted to officials Spell was a “pimp” who used the victim and other women to support him financially from jail. The money from prostitution paid for Spell’s attorney fees, jail commissary account and phone calls made to St. Rose to carry out his plans.
Authorities took the teen to a safe house.
Spell remains in jail on a $200,600 bond. St. Rose has since been released from jail on a $5,000 bond.
The case has been referred to the FBI for possible federal human trafficking charges.
Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.
In other news: