News & Politics

DC Police Officer Suspected in Prostitution Ring Arrested

Officer Linwood Barnhill, Jr. was arrested a week after a missing 16-year-old girl was found at his apartment.

A DC police officer suspected of running a prostitution ring out of his apartment was arrested Wednesday morning, the Metropolitan Police Department said. Officer Linwood Barnhill, Jr., a 24-year MPD veteran, is being charged with two counts of pandering a minor.

Police investigating a report of a missing 16-year-old girl were led to Barnhill’s Southeast DC apartment on December 3. According to court documents, officers found the missing girl, another 18-year-old woman, and burning marijuana.

The 16-year-old told investigators that Barnhill had set her up on a “date” with an older man during which she would be paid $80 to have sex, with $20 going back to Barnhill, according to an affidavit unsealed last week. The girl also said Barnhill told her she would go by the name “Juicy” and that she had met six other women suspected of being prostitutes over the course of her visits to the cops apartment, according to court documents. 

Police returned to Barnhill’s apartment last Wednesday with an emergency search warrant and seized nine pairs of shoes, one bra, two boxes of condoms, computers, and cell phones.

“As disheartening as it is to have members of this department involved in this type of conduct, I take solace in knowing that it was members of this department who worked tirelessly to ensure that they were brought to justice,” DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a statement released after Barnhill’s arrest.

Barnhill, who joined MPD in 1989, had been on part-time duty since September 2012 following an injury. Lanier said at a press conference last week that Barnhill has three citizen complaints against him, though none for sexual misconduct. Barnhill is now on administrative leave.

Affidavit to search home of MPD officer suspected of prostitution ring. by Benjamin Freed

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.