Man faces life in prison for allegedly forcing 8 women into prostitution

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A man accused of forcing at least eight women, including two minors, into prostitution is now facing up to life in prison for charges brought in a surprise arrest Friday morning.

Anthony Gardner, 27, was arrested at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center. Undercover officers surrounded him as he appeared for a hearing on another charge.

Two of the alleged victims were 17 at the time that Gardner is accused of forcing them to perform sex acts for cash.

Court documents show he's accused of beating the women if they were unable to earn the minimum $1,000 a day he allegedly required.

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Exclusive video shows Anthony Gardner, 27, the moment he was taken into custody at the Harris County courthouse after allegedly forcing eight women into prostitution.

Two of the victims also have children with Gardner, according to court documents.

Friday's arrest stemmed from four new charges, including continuous trafficking of persons. The other charges are aggravated promotion of prostitution and two charges of compelling prostitution. If convicted, Gardner could face up to life in prison.

He was not granted bond for these charges.

The investigation dates back to 2014. The arrest and latest leg of the investigation were a partnership between the new Harris County District Attorney's Office Sex Crimes Division and the Houston Police Department's Human Trafficking Unit.

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