- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

RANKIN, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania police officer who made headlines when he won a $1 million Powerball drawing last month has been removed from the work schedule because he’s mentioned in a criminal complaint charging his wife with working to arrange appointments for a prostitution business.

Moon Township Detective Charles Carr said in a criminal complaint filed in January that he and other members of the FBI’s human trafficking task force began investigating the business after it posted on a website “where known female, male and transsexual prostitutes post ads soliciting for customer/johns.”

According to Carr’s complaint, undercover officers contacted women through the business who agreed to have sex for money, and one employee told police that Jennifer Brown, the wife of Rankin Officer Matthew Brown, both 38, scheduled those appointments. Other employees told police that Officer Brown sometimes worked as a driver for the business, and that other drivers and female employees would meet at the couple’s house for those appointments, the complaint said.

The Browns have done nothing wrong, defense attorney David Shrager said.

“She worked scheduling bachelor parties, and these were meant to be legitimate bachelor parties that go on every day,” Shrager said, adding that they included “no prostitution.”

Officer Brown hasn’t been charged in connection with the business, and Shrager, who wouldn’t discuss details of the criminal complaint, defended Jennifer Brown.

“She has no previous criminal history, and these charges are very shocking and have devastated her,” Shrager said. “It’s our position that there is no evidence of her committing these crimes.”

Rankin police Chief Ryan Wooten said he’s taken Officer Brown off the schedule until he and the borough council decide what to do with him. Only last week the chief was describing Brown as a hard-working father of three who worked a second job, and planned to remain a police officer despite the Powerball win.

Wooten said he didn’t know about the charges against Jennifer Brown, nor that the officer is mentioned in the criminal complaint against her. The chief hired Brown in November, about six months after he abruptly left a $78,000-a-year job with the Allegheny County police.

County officials wouldn’t comment beyond confirming Brown left that police force in May 2013 after working for the county since 2002.

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