21-year-old woman accused of running Norcross sex trafficking operation

A 21-year-old woman is accused of running a sex trafficking operation in Gwinnett County, where she took underage girls to men at hotels and apartments, police said.

Shaela Latrece Chatman of Riverdale is accused of taking two teenage girls to the Gwinnett Pointe apartment complex off Beaver Ruin Road in Norcross to meet a man, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

She allegedly set up the meetings and prices online for the girls, ages 14 and 15, and then drove them “to dates located at hotels, apartments and houses,” according to her arrest warrants, obtained by Channel 2. The warrants said she would take 50 percent of the earnings from the child prostitution. 

Officers told the news station they partly credit recent training they’ve received ahead of the Super Bowl for helping make the arrest.

“It’s estimated to be a $290 million industry in Georgia alone,” Brooke Ruffin, operations manager for the non-profit group Street Grace, told Channel 2.

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Brooke Ruffin (Photo: Channel 2 Action News)

She said her organization is helping train officers and Super Bowl volunteers on what to look for to help identify possible victims of sex trafficking and those controlling them. 

“It’s really the influx of people coming into our city,” Ruffin said. “It’s also that disposable income that these people have.”

The two teens are in state custody, and Chatman is at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond, the news station reported. She faces five charges, including two counts of sex trafficking, felony theft and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, jail records show.

Police are investigating to see if she’s part of a bigger sex trafficking operation, Channel 2 reported. 

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