Local News

Runaway found, pair charged in Durham human trafficking case

Posted May 8, 2014

Mark Brown and Fatmiyah Tunis

— Two people have been arrested in Durham on human trafficking charges, and a 17-year-old girl who ran away from her home in upstate New York in February has been located, police said Thursday.

A friend of the girl saw an advertisement on an adult website featuring her and contacted the Polaris Project with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. The center contacted the Raleigh Police Department, which tracked the girl to a possible address in Durham.

Durham police investigators and an agent from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security went to an address in the 1500 block of Ellis Road and arrested Mark Brown, 26, of Ellis Road. They also arrested Fatmiyah Tunis, 24, of Queens, N.Y., at a motel in southern Durham.

The 17-year-old was reported to be in good condition.

Brown and Tunis are charged with human trafficking (child victim) and promoting the prostitution of a minor. They were placed in the Durham County jail under $750,000 bonds.


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  • Brenda Lawrence May 8, 2014
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    What a NICE couple!! What's wrong with just getting a job and working for a living? Sex traffickers are the lowest of the low!

  • lasm May 8, 2014

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    No, it's not that important; but I believe the more we learn about human trafficking-especially of minors-the better we can begin to at least slow it down-if not eradicate it. I, too, am glad the girl was found and taken from these 2 monsters. Hopefully, the girl will get help in dealing with her life before and after.

  • Super Hans May 8, 2014

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    Because the Department of Homeland Security isn't quite what it was sold to everyone as. It's just another bloated and redundant federal law enforcement agency.

  • Lee Bennett May 8, 2014
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    The Department of Homeland Security has jurisdiction over human trafficking cases in the US:


  • Veronica Hammond May 8, 2014
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    So she ran away to be a prostitute? I don't see any charges related to force.

  • Denise Martin May 8, 2014
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    Is it really that important that you know every little detail? Really? Just be glad the girl was found.

  • curiousgeorgia May 8, 2014

    Poor girl, glad they found her and that her name has not been released--gives her some more protection since she is a minor still.

  • Rudy Bizzell May 8, 2014
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    What does a agent of the US DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY have to DO WITH THIS????????

  • JAT May 8, 2014

    Kudos for the friend for contacting Polaris!!

  • lasm May 8, 2014

    Well, obviously the writers of this article avoided due diligence in getting more information; or this is all the information coming out of the 3 or 4 agencies involved. I hope the journalists can get us more information on this; as human trafficking is a most serious crime and one of the least about which citizens are educated-particularly human trafficking of minors.