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Details emerge in arrest of man accused of holding Polson woman against her will

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Leroy Edwards (Left) and Terrence Edwards (Right) were both convicted of promoting prostitution (MDOC) Leroy Edwards (Left) and Terrence Edwards (Right) were both convicted of promoting prostitution (MDOC)

New details from documents filed in federal court indicate the man accused of holding a Polson woman against her will so he could promote her for prostitution was previously involved in a similar scheme with his younger brother.

Terrence Edwards, 34, is being held at the Yellowstone County jail on possible federal charges for allegedly promoting prostitution and human trafficking. Back in 2012, Edwards was sentenced in Missoula County to prison for felony prostitution.

As an inmate at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Shelby, Edwards filed a complaint in 2014 alleging that his rights were violated throughout the investigation.

In that complaint, which was dismissed earlier this year, Edwards said that he only pleaded guilty to the charge because “he feared being a black man in a small white town would prevent him from getting a fair trial.”

In that complaint, Edwards described how he and his brother, Leroy Edwards, were unfairly targeted during the investigation. Leroy Edwards, 25, is currently serving time for a 2012 conviction of felony promoting prostitution.

According to the complaint filed by the elder brother, police received a CrimeStoppers tip in 2011 from a woman who claimed Terrence Edwards was promoting two women for prostitution.

Missoula Police Officer Geoff Curtis followed up on the tip and interviewed the women named by the tipster. The two women gave recorded interviews to Curtis stating that Terrence Edwards and his brother were operating a prostitution business.

The complaint alleged that the officer violated Terrence Edwards’ Fourth Amendment right to protection from unlawful search and seizure by tracing his phone.

The officer learned that Terrence Edwards had traveled out of the state with one of the women. Edwards’ car was traced by local law enforcement and located at a Motel 6.

Another prostitute was arrested in the area after law enforcement discovered a posting on Backpage.com. Police asked if the woman knew Leroy Edwards and she said she had worked as a prostitute for him.

Leroy Edwards’ vehicle was searched and several phones and cameras were seized by police. Terrence Edwards alleged that the officer told other departments lies regarding his criminal history so law enforcement would help look for Edwards.

Terrence Edwards was eventually arrested in Texas on a probation violation and extradited to Missoula County.

The complaint alleges that the officer then conducted an illegal search of his phone.

Terrence Edwards "was prejudiced by defendant Curtis’ fabricated conspiracy theory and his falsified police reports,” states the complaint.

Terrence Edwards claimed wrongful arrest, assault, abuse of process, invasion of privacy, fabricated evidence, denial of equal protection under the law, mental distress, and illegal search and seizure.

The complaint was dismissed in summary judgment by the court and never made it to trial.

In this latest case against Terrence Edwards, he is accused of luring a 22-year-old Polson woman to Missoula and holding her against her will for the purpose of promoting her for prostitution.

The woman said she was held captive for 11 days until Billings police rescued her on Tuesday. The FBI is now investigating whether these new allegations will result in federal charges.

RELATED: FBI takes over case of captive woman rescued in Billings

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