Shelby County man accused of human trafficking - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby County man accused of human trafficking

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Laron Matlock, Photo: Shelby County Jail. Laron Matlock, Photo: Shelby County Jail.

(WMC-TV) - Investigators say a Shelby County man posed as a record promoter to trick a group of teens to come to Tennessee and then forced them into prostitution.

Laron Matlock, 31, met an 18-year-old girl from Racine, WI, on Facebook, according the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

The teen took the bus to Memphis in June and met Matlock, who told her he was a record promoter.

The teen returned to her home a short time later, but eventually came back to Memphis with a 16-year-old friend. Investigators say Matlock bought the girls' tickets.

When the girls arrived in Memphis, Matlock allegedly told them he was a pimp, not a record producer.

Shelby County deputies say the 31-year-old advertised the girls as prostitutes on the website Backpage.

The girls were also forced to walk the streets and were taken to Nashville where they also worked as prostitutes, according to investigators.

The alleged victims say Matlock took their money and were kept in a locked house.

Deputies say the girls were given drugs so they could stay awake for days at a time and were beaten if they wouldn't prostitute themselves.

Matlock is facing prostitution, kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a minor charges.

However, he could also be charged with state and federal crimes.

Anna Marie Hartman will have the latest on this developing story on Action News 5 at 5.

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