A Maryland woman was charged with recruiting a pregnant teen into a sex trafficking ring that operated around the capital region.
Yanira Del Carmen Guerrero Andrade, an illegal alien from El Salvador, was arrested last week in Hyattsville and charged with child sex trafficking. If convicted, she faces 10 years to life in prison.
"The world of sexual slavery is vile and horrific -- but very real in Northern Virginia. Every instance of sex trafficking is sickening, and this specific case is no different," said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride.
"We will continue to go after those who prey on them and lure them into the sexual trade," MacBride said.
Prosecutors said the ring was run by members of the MS-13 street gang, mainly in Prince George's County and Northern Virginia.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court in Alexandria, Guerrero Andrade first met the teenager in 2008 at a nightclub in Hyattsville, after the girl had run away from home. She was under the age of 18.
Guerrero Andrade helped the victim, who had become pregnant, find a place to stay and then recruited her to work as a prostitute answering to Guerrero Andrade's boyfriend. Guerrero Andrade was previously arrested for prostitution in Chesterfield in 2009.
Guerrero Andrade and her boyfriend kept a portion of the proceeds that the victim earned.
Customers were charged $30 for 15 minutes.
Court records allege that on the girl's first day she was forced to have sex with 15 customers. On the third day, she had sex with 25 customers, while Guerrero Andrade waited in a motel room next door.
Guerrero Andrade allegedly knew that the victim was under 18 years old and instructed her to use an alias and say that she was 20 years old. Guerrero Andrade also allegedly introduced the victim to other men besides her boyfriend so the victim could work as a prostitute for them.
Several customers allegedly requested the victim specifically because she looked young.
In the past two years, 46 defendants have been prosecuted in 27 cases in the Eastern District of Virginia for human trafficking and trafficking-related conduct, involving at least 32 victims.