A former “Making the Band” member from the MTV reality show has been accused of using his fame to recruit women into becoming sex workers.
Kevin Barnes, 37, who goes by the moniker “Chopper” and starred on the show Making the Band in the early 2000s, was arrested and charged with one count of sex trafficking of an adult, per a statement from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
On Monday, Barnes was booked into the Clark County Detention Center.
A tweet from the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland says Barnes was arrested by that agency in Linthicum, Md., and that authorities believe there may be local victims.
The Las Vegas police release states that Barnes “has a large social media following which detectives believe he used to recruit women to be sex workers.”
Barnes has approximately 340,000 followers on Instagram.
It was not clear if Barnes has entered a plea.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing court records, reports Barnes was released on his own recognizance during a hearing on Tuesday. The outlet reports he was appointed a public defender.
XXL magazine reveals that the premise of Making the Band, which featured Sean “Diddy” Combs, was to form a successful music group comprised of little-known artists.
Previously, Chopper signed a deal with Bad Boy Records, which was founded by Combs, but has since worked with other labels.
Police have urged anyone who has allegedly been contacted by Barnes to become a sex worker, or is a victim of sex trafficking, to contact authorities. In Las Vegas, tips should go to the Vice Squad at 702-828-3455. In Maryland, tips should be called in to 410-222-4700.
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