Saturday, December 01, 2012

Child Trafficking: MS-13 Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Trafficking

U.S. Attorney’s Office 
Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Jonathan Adonay Fuentes, aka “Cheesy,” and “Crazy Boy,” 21, of Clinton, Maryland, pled guilty this week to sex trafficking a juvenile female as part of a prostitution enterprise operated by the violent street gang Mara Salvatrucha Thirteen (MS-13).

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Debra Evans Smith, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.

Fuentes, an El Salvadoran-born U.S. citizen, was charged by criminal complaint on September 28, 2012, and pled guilty to sex trafficking a child on November 27, 2012. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison when he is sentenced on March 1, 2013.

“Fuentes served a critical role in this scheme as the primary driver for a young girl his gang was exploiting as a prostitute,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “His conviction is yet another example of our zero-tolerance policy against anyone participating in this unconscionable crime.”

“Cases such as this one bring to light the disturbing tactics used by gang members to intimidate and coerce young girls into prostitution,” said Acting ADIC Smith. “Those who prey on our youth should know that law enforcement will not rest until you are stopped and justice is served.”

According to court documents, Fuentes assisted his fellow MS-13 gang members from the fall of 2009 through the spring of 2010 run a prostitution ring that specialized in selling juvenile girls for commercial sex. Fuentes admitted in court that he transported a teen girl within Virginia and Maryland to engage in sex with clients. The large majority of appointments took place at an MS-13-controlled apartment in Maryland; however, Fuentes also prostituted the young girl at various hotels throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Gang members supplied the victim with drugs and alcohol to keep her compliant.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with assistance from the Fairfax County Police Department and HSI. Assistant United States Attorneys Zachary Terwilliger and Patricia T. Giles are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies—along with non-governmental organizations—dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes. From FY2011 to the present, 44 defendants have been prosecuted in 25 cases in the Eastern District of Virginia for human trafficking and trafficking-related conduct involving at least 32 victims.