Criminal accusations are multiplying against a suspected human trafficker in Atlanta, who authorities believe was holding multiple women against their will

By Adam Carlson
March 11, 2017 10:37 AM

Criminal accusations are multiplying against a suspected human trafficker in Atlanta, who authorities believe was holding multiple women against their will in an upscale home and forcing them to dance at local strip clubs — all while flaunting apparent gang ties and a lavish lifestyle online.

Kenndric Roberts now faces 14 charges, including six counts each of trafficking a person for labor and false imprisonment, after he was arrested Tuesday.

He originally faced two charges, after police said they found him this week living with eight women at a nearly $1-million, 6,800-square-foot home in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

One of the women initially accused Roberts of detaining her and five others have since claimed the same, Sandy Springs police Sgt. Sam Worsham tells PEOPLE.

Roberts, 33, does not own the home where he was staying, Worsham says. The homeowners said they did not know he was living there.

Newly obtained court documents further detail how Roberts allegedly operated: with controlling behavior and threats of violence, after recruiting women locally and through social media and dating sites with offers of work.

The documents include statements from three women.

Two of the women alleged they were either sexually assaulted by Roberts or had sex with him “consensually” because they felt they couldn’t say no, according to his arrest affidavit.

Two of the women also told investigators they believed Roberts was a member of the Gangster Disciples — a street gang that authorities say has operated in parts of Atlanta — the affidavit states.

The criminal case was triggered by a 911 phone call placed Tuesday morning from inside Roberts’ home by one of his alleged victims, police say.

The woman told the dispatcher, “I’m in a very bad situation and I need to get out.” She referred to Roberts as her “boss.”

Kenndric Traman Roberts
Fulton County Sheriff's Office

More Victims?

Sgt. Worsham says Roberts was arrested during a traffic stop later Tuesday, near the home where he was living.

An AK-47 pistol and a .45-caliber Glock handgun were also recovered, Worsham says — one in Roberts’ car, one on his person.

He is additionally charged with two counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was otherwise in legal possession of the weapons, according to police.

Investigators believe there may yet be more victims, Worsham says, and he urged anyone with information to contact Sandy Springs police or the FBI, at 770-551-6900 or 404-679-9000.

Worsham says the case is still very much active and additional charges are possible.

Federal charges are also likely, according to a spokesman for the FBI in Atlanta, who confirms that their agents are investigating.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Worsham previously told PEOPLE the eight women found with Roberts ranged in age from 19 to 22. All eight were U.S. citizens, he said, and the women came from both local areas and out of state.

They were found in good health, he said.

The owners of Roberts’ home told PEOPLE, in a statement Friday, that they rented the property out in December — but to someone else.

They said they were “shocked and dismayed” by the allegations and “are deeply concerned for the well-being of the women.”

“We have no involvement whatsoever in the criminal activities that prompted police action,” the owners said in their statement. “We simply leased our vacant home … to a tenant that was carefully vetted in advance. We have since learned that the tenant allowed Mr. Roberts, without our permission, to occupy our home.”

The owners said the tenant “has been removed” and that they are cooperating with the investigation.

The woman who first called 911 about Roberts later described to police how she came to be involved with him, according to his arrest affidavit.

The woman — who told 911 she turned 20 in November — alleged Roberts reached out to her via SeekingArrangement.com, a dating site for “sugar daddies,” the affidavit states. The woman said she had ignored Roberts on the site but eventually responded to his messages.

He told her he had “diamond kitties” who worked for him and invited her to visit his home in Sandy Springs, the affidavit alleges. A three-day trip appeared to show that everything was “great” and the woman decided to move from Orlando, Florida, earlier this year.

But once she arrived, court documents show, she said Roberts allegedly made her sign a contract that stipulated she would receive $350,000 at its completion, though the contract had no end date. She alleged she was also sent to the Dominican Republic for breast augmentation.

The woman told police that the other women in the house danced for a local strip club, according to the affidavit — though Roberts would allegedly “take all the money,” telling them instead that he would “double what they earned at the end of their contract.”

Documents show the 20-year-old woman’s mother previously contacted police, on Jan. 19, to say that she was worried her daughter had become involved with prostitution after moving to Georgia to work for a modeling company.

The woman told police that before she called for help, she was slated to begin work at another local club, according to the affidavit; another woman told authorities she’d worked at three area strip clubs and that Roberts allegedly “told her she had to work” at the clubs.

The women were not allowed to keep their money, the affidavit states, and they were barred from talking to black men.

The woman who called 911 told police she could not contact her friends. She also claimed Roberts had taken her cell phone and her ID, giving her a “company phone” instead, court documents show.

• Pick up PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: Cases That Shocked America, on sale now, for the latest on Casey Anthony, JonBenét Ramsey and more.

Speaking to police, the woman reiterated what she told the 911 dispatcher, according to the affidavit: Roberts had allegedly threatened her multiple times, including once saying he would “pay someone to cut her chest open, take out [her] implants and cut her up.”

Roberts “has threatened violence against family members of some of the other girls,” the court documents allege.

“If I try to leave, he’ll kill me,” the woman told 911 on Tuesday. She and other women at the home told investigators they were fearful of Roberts because of his suspected gang connections, his arrest affidavit states.

Another woman told investigators that Roberts allegedly “made everyone work at strip clubs,” according to the affidavit.

Police confirm to PEOPLE that Roberts maintained an Instagram account with more than 17,000 followers where he documented his lifestyle of high-end cars, jewelry and watches and large stacks of money. (The account has attracted thousands of followers since Roberts’ arrest.)

He also made references to the Gangster Disciples on his Instagram, court documents allege.

In a strange twist, the affidavit states that Roberts actually called 911 himself on Tuesday, after the 20-year-old woman had left the home but before he was arrested. He told police she allegedly stole several pieces of clothing and jewelry, among other items, and he claimed to have spent $30,000 on her while she worked for him for two months.

Roberts is behind bars at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, without bond. He has not entered a plea to his charges.

He has been assigned a public defender, who did not return messages seeking comment. A message left for Roberts at the jail was also not returned.

The mother of one of his alleged victims spoke to WSB on Thursday, saying Roberts had tricked the women: “He promised them things, that he would help them.”

“After he got them, gave them all these gifts and everything,” she said, “then the guns came out, then the threats came out.”

Advertisement