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Former 'Making The Band' Star Accused Of Using Social Media Influence To Sex Traffic Women
Kevin "Choppa" Barnes was booked into the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas on Monday after police said he used his large social media following to lure women into prostitution.
A former reality star of MTV’s “Making the Band” has been arrested in Nevada for alleged sex trafficking after police say he used his social media influence to recruit women for sex work.
Kevin Barnes—who also goes by the moniker “Choppa”—was booked into the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas on Monday for one count of sex trafficking an adult, according to a statement from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Detectives believe the 37-year-old used his “large social media following” to “recruit women to be sex workers.”
While police provided few other details about the arrest, TMZ reported that court documents indicate that Barnes was arrested after he allegedly messaged an undercover vice detective in Nevada on Instagram offering the officer sex work. The detective noticed Barnes' social media profile seemed to reference pimping and often featured him living a lavish lifestyle.
As the investigation continued, the detective spoke to Barnes on the phone. The reality star allegedly offered to make the undercover law enforcement officer part of his “team” or “stable.”
When the detective tried to delay, authorities said Barnes became aggressive and ordered the person to get to an airport and meet him in North Carolina, the news outlet reports.
Barnes had allegedly told the detective that doing business in Las Vegas was no longer safe because law enforcement had been cracking down on sex trafficking, according to the court records.
Oxygen.com reached out to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to obtain more information about the allegations, but did not receive an immediate response.
Barnes appeared on the MTV reality show “Making the Band” in the early 2000s. He was one of a group of music artists that Diddy attempted to make into a successful music group, known as Da Band, during the show’s run, XXL Magazine reports.
He later signed a solo deal with the Diddy record label, Bad Boy Records, although he is no longer affiliated with them.
Barnes has been released on his own recognizance and is expected to return to court for a preliminary hearing on May 10, according to court records obtained by KSNV.