Accused pimp faces charges for brutal assault and plotting witness murder
Pimp operated along East New York's "Penn Track," an open-air market for commercial sex acts
Douglas Welch, also known as “Paradise,” was arrested on Tuesday after an indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn Federal Court, charging him with multiple counts including sex trafficking by force, sex trafficking conspiracy, interstate prostitution and promotion of prostitution.
Welch was arraigned Tuesday afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge James Cho.
“As alleged, Welch has trafficked multiple women for his own financial benefit while boasting about the cruel and brutal violence he has inflicted on the vulnerable victims,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace. “Running a brazen, open-air commercial sex market in East New York or anywhere else in our district is unacceptable, dangerous to our communities, and especially harmful to women caught in this terrible cycle of abuse.”
The charges stem from Welch’s alleged operation on a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn, known locally as the “Penn Track.”
The “Penn Track” refers to a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn that has been identified as an open-air market for commercial sex acts. According to the indictment, Douglas Welch and others have allegedly forced trafficking victims to engage in commercial sex acts with customers in cars or nearby hotels along this area.
From the summer of 2021 to January 2023, Welch is reported to have trafficked women through force, fraud and coercion in Penn Track. According to evidence, Welch directed these women to engage in commercial sex acts in cars or nearby hotels, collecting the proceeds. He maintained control through violence and threats, as supported by numerous recorded calls.
In one particularly incriminating call on Aug. 31, 2021, Welch said, “I ended up punching … three of her teeth out … I had to pay to get her teeth fixed and all that shit so. That shit cost me cause I lost 30,000, and I spent money fixing her mouth.”
Welch, in a call on Nov. 27, 2022, said, “I tapped that jaw to show you … I’m not spending my money to get disrespected, you don’t dictate shit … if you f–k with the pimping, I’m gonna crack your head.”
Additional evidence points to Welch’s broader involvement in prostitution. In February 2022, he attended a “Pimp Convention” in Los Angeles and had women work for him in Las Vegas. Welch also attempted to recruit new women, as evidenced in a call from Nov. 27, 2022, where he said he had “turned out bitches” when they were young and bought them cars.
The charges are supported by multiple forms of evidence, including recorded calls, phone records, Cash App transactions and witness testimony. The evidence as a whole portrays Welch as engaging in a systematic pattern of exploitation and abuse.
In early January 2023, law enforcement discovered that the defendant, Welch, had conspired with another individual, referred to as “CC-1,” to kill a witness. This witness was believed to be cooperating in a sex trafficking investigation involving CC-1. A recorded call captured Welch and CC-1 discussing plans to locate and eliminate the witness.
Welch allegedly proposed to use a woman working for him in prostitution to lure the witness to a dinner at a restaurant in the Bronx. After the dinner, individuals working on behalf of CC-1 would carry out the killing as the witness returned to their car. CC-1 expressed agreement with the plan, using the phrase “f–k that dead ass.”
To prevent any future implication, Welch emphasized that subsequent conversations about this murder conspiracy would only be conducted in person. Ultimately, the plan was not executed.
The government has submitted a strong argument for pretrial detention, citing the serious nature of the charges, the substantial evidence against Welch, his criminal history and the significant risk he poses to the community and witnesses.
If convicted, Welch faces a minimum term of 15 years in prison and up to life imprisonment. The indictment remains an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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