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Monday, 4 June 2012

MS-13 gang leader to serve 50 years for sex trafficking teens

22:42 |

MS-13 gang leader to serve 50 years for sex trafficking teens in Northern Virginia A gang member was sentenced Friday to serve 50 years in prison for forcing girls as young as 14 to work as prostitutes in Northern Virginia. A jury at U.S. District Court in Alexandria in February found 24-year-old Rances Ulices Amaya, also known as “Murder” or “Blue,” guilty of conspiring to commit sex trafficking of a child and three counts of sex trafficking. According to an affidavit on file in federal court, Amaya, of Springfield, a leader of the criminal street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, prostituted teen girls at hotels throughout northern Virginia, including in Woodbridge, Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. Prosecutors said Amaya began prostituting teen girls in 2009 and used his affiliation with MS-13 “to keep customers and the victims compliant and fearful” and ran the prostitution ring “in an effort both to raise capital for MS-13 and to raise his stature in the gang,” according to court documents He often carried a machete with him, prosecutors said. Amaya would solicit customers “at sites frequented by Hispanic day laborers, such as 7-Eleven stores.” They often sought out illegal immigrants as customers because they did not think illegal immigrants would call the police, prosecutors said in a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office. According to the news release, Amaya frequently had the clients and prostitutes meet at hotels in the Falls Church area. The prostitutes were all between the ages of 14 and 17 years old and were forced to have sex with eight to 10 paying customers a day, prosecutors said. According to court documents, Amaya often raped the girls and also gave them drugs and alcohol. “Rances Amaya’s gang name was ‘Murder,’ and in a real sense he killed the hopes and dreams of teenage girls whom he systematically and sadistically victimized,” U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said in a statement. “He told these girls that he owned them and that he would hurt their loved ones if they didn’t comply. They were his sex slaves, and that slavery goes to the heart of the heinous crime of sex trafficking. These girls have traumatic scars that will last a lifetime, and Mr. Amaya is justly going to spend the rest of his productive life paying for his crimes.”

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