Hit-and-run crash uncovers alleged trafficking of 2 teens who ran away from DCFS; man arrested
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A hit-and-run crash investigation turned into a human trafficking case after Baton Rouge officials learned the two 16-year-olds involved in the crash had taken the vehicle from a man who was allegedly trafficking them.
Officials said they arrested Chad Michael Armstead, 29, of Baton Rouge, on Wednesday, April 5, and charged him with two counts of human trafficking and carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
According to records, the victims had been staying with an older man, identified as Armstead, since running away from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) on February 24.
The victims became fearful while riding with Armstead on Feb. 27, and they took his vehicle when he stepped out of it, records stated.
Officials said the vehicle was involved in a hit-and-run crash a few hours later, where the driver contacted law enforcement who followed the teens.
The victims told Baton Rouge police officers the vehicle belonged to Armstead, who they were working for, added officials.
According to arrest records, Armstead met one of the victims on social media two months ago, and the other victim two weeks ago.
An investigation into his involvement in allegedly trafficking the underage girls revealed multiple illicit images of the girls posted on a sex advertisement website, according to arrest records.
Records state one of the victims told officials Armstead would take them to and from all of their “prostitution encounters.”
The victim also said Armstead would work them in shifts from late at night until early morning, records added.
Jail records show an arrest warrant was requested for Armstead on March 23 based on details provided by the victims.
After being arrested, officials booked Armstead into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
DCFS released the following news release regarding the arrest in human trafficking case:
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