A Fergus Falls man has been charged with promoting prostitution and felony drug possession after police say they connected him to online ads promoting prostitution services in a Richfield apartment.
Tramayne Colfred Williams, 30, is charged with solicitation, inducement and promotion of prostitution, a felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $40,000 fine, and fifth-degree drug possession, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Williams is also charged with giving false information to police, a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, *undercover Richfield Police officers were investigating possible prostitution and drug crimes by monitoring Backpage.com, known as a common location for prostitutes to advertise their services and contact information.
Officers found an ad posted Sept. 16 with a sexual title, the image of a woman with a contact name of "Candi" and a contact number with a 507 area code, according to the complaint.
An undercover officers called the number at about 10 p.m. Sept. 16 and spoke to a woman who identified herself as Candi. The officer set up a meeting and established a price of $150 for an hour; Candi gave instructions on how to get to her apartment in the 7700 block of Penn Avenue, and told the officer to call her again when he was in the area, according to the complaint.
The officer called again at 10:45 p.m., the woman known as Candi answered and told him to meet her at the door. The woman brought the officer to her apartment, collected $150 in pre-recorded buy money from him, and put it in a drawer in the kitchen, the complaint says.
Candi told the officer that there was no kissing allowed, and gave him other sexual restrictions, according to the complaint. The officer agreed, and Candi took a condom off the coffee table and began to undress, the complaint says.
At that point, the officer identified himself and told her to stop undressing. Candi told the officer that there were two other people in the bedroom; those people were handcuffed and brought into the living room.
One of the men identified himself as Timothy Huntley Williams with an 1987 birth date. Police later determined that he had given them his brother’s name, and that his real identity was Tramayne Colfred Williams.
A subsequent search of the Richfield apartment turned up a digital scale, three bags of crack cocaine and four cell phones. One of the phones contained photos that appeared in Backpage.com prostitution ads, along with a number of e-mails regarding those prostitution ads, the complaint charges.
Police also found text messages that appeared to be information on dispatching prostitutes.
Candi told police her real identity, and told them that Williams sets up the Backpage.com ads. According to the complaint, she said the women answer the calls from clients, then tell Williams that a customer is on the way, at which point Williams comes to the apartment to protect the prostitute if necessary.
Williams remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $75,000 bond. He is also being held on felony warrants from Clay and Otter Tail counties. An omnibus hearing on the latest charges is scheduled Oct. 15 in Hennepin County District Court.
Editor's Note: Information regarding the officers' identities was removed for more confidentiality.