In a ceremony last week, Detective Jeff Hartlove, a veteran officer with 26 years of service, was honored by the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force (MHTTF). Det. Hartlove, together with Special Agent Ed Kelly of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was selected as a 2013 MHTTF distinguished award recipient.
Det. Hartlove and SA Kelly headed an investigation into the sex trafficking operation of German Ventura, 35, a citizen of El Salvador living in Maryland. In April German Ventura was convicted in Federal District Court of conspiring to transport and entice females to travel interstate for prostitution; transporting females for prostitution; enticing females to travel interstate for prostitution; sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; and possessing a gun in furtherance of sex trafficking. Co-defendant Kevin Fuertes, 25, a citizen of Honduras living in Maryland, was convicted of the conspiracy and sex trafficking charges. Both await sentencing in July.
Chief Michael Pristoop of the Annapolis Police Department said, “I commend Det. Hartlove for his outstanding work on this challenging and complex case. Simply put, Annapolis is a safer place as a result of his effort.” Det. Hartlove led a distinguished career serving in patrol, Community Policing Squad, and Criminal Investigations where he has been assigned for the last 10 years. He will retire June 1, 2013.