Maryland rapper charged with human trafficking faces judge in Miami-Dade court

MIAMI (WSVN) — A Maryland rapper accused of human trafficking has been stopped and brought back to South Florida after his alleged victim was rescued, authorities said.

Monriko Mequel Clements, also known as King Swuice, faced a judge Thursday morning as his lawyer attempted to place his client under house arrest in his hometown.

Clements was arrested in Maryland by the Miami-Dart state attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

Clements met a 23-year-old woman online and took her to South Florida to sell her body so he could keep the cash, investigators said.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Kathryn Fernandez Rundle spoke about Clements’ arrest and provided additional details at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“The victim stated that she earned approximately $20,000 for the victim during these sexual stays. The subject kept all the money,” she said.

The alleged victim met Clements on social media, investigators said. Before long, he started advertising her services and arranging dates.

“To him, this woman was cash in heels,” Fernandez Rundle said.

Fernandez Rundle said the alleged victim had the suspect’s name tattooed on his body.

“To show that the victim is the property of the trafficker,” she said.

Investigators said the woman jumped from a moving vehicle to escape the suspect and draw the attention of police.

Clements faces one count of human trafficking, a first-degree felony, and one count of receiving support from the proceeds of prostitution, a second-degree felony.

Clements’ bond was set at $45,000.

“A modern form of slavery, it does exist in the form of human trafficking,” Fernandez Rundel said, “and this crime will not stop without law enforcement and community engagement.”

His lawyer, David Donnett, has asked for a reduction in his client’s bond.

But Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy S. Glazer disagreed with many of the requests.

“Of course he can’t [serve his arrest in Maryland]; he has to be in Miami-Dade County,” she said.

The music video shows Clements as King Swuice, surrounded by women and wads of gleaming cash.

Prosecutors said the crime wasn’t Clements’ first run-in with the law.

They said he has a non-extradition order from Los Angeles, as well as previous failures to appear in Georgia and Maryland, underscoring his lack of a clean record.

If Clements is released from prison, he will be placed under house arrest. That means he will have to find a residence in South Florida.

The alleged victim, a mother of two, is in good condition and recovering, authorities said.

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