Prosecutors: Gang member used drugs, threats of violence to pimp underage girls

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Marteze Clair pleads not guilty to human trafficking, leading organized crime and promoting prostitution. (Photo: Pierce County Prosecutor's Office)

TACOMA — A gang member and his accomplice face several criminal charges for allegedly selling women and young girls for sex.

Authorities arrested Marteze Ravoine Clair, 27, and Erica Jade Cromartie, 23, Thursday night at a Bremerton motel.

According to Pierce County prosecutors, Clair worked as a pimp and posted prostitution advertisements online while Cromartie recruited girls, trained them and collected money.

Officials said the girls were given drugs and threatened with violence.

The suspects posted 226 prostitution ads online in a seven-month period, prosecutors said.

“Street gangs are moving into pimping to supplement their drug sales,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We are vigorously prosecuting these cases – particularly those involving underage girls. Eliminating human trafficking is one of the goals of our gang unit and our office.”

Investigators are still looking for more victims.

Clair and Cromartie are charged with human trafficking in the first degree, leading organized crime, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, and promoting prostitution in the second degree.

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