violent street gang lured vulnerable Fairfax-area girls into prostitution is a chilling one for any parent, and is another reason why parents need to keep a close eye on their kids’ involvement with social networking websites. During a three-year period ending in March 2012, members of a violent Virginia street gang used some of these websites to recruit vulnerable high-school age girls to work in their prostitution business. The story has been reported locally in bits and pieces as it progressed, and now a recap is being distributed nationwide by the FBI, using the Fairfax episode as a cautionary tale for parents and law enforcement authorities. After a multi-agency state and federal investigation, all five defendants pleaded guilty to various federal charges related to the sex trafficking conspiracy. The leader of the gang—27-year-old Justin Strom—was sentenced on September 14 to 40 years in prison, while the sentences handed down for the other four defendants totaled 53 years. Strom headed up the Underground Gangster Crips (UGC), a Crips “set” based in Fairfax, Virginia. The Crips originated in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and since then, the gang has splintered into various groups around the country. Law enforcement has seen a number of Crips sets in the U.S. engaging in sex trafficking as a means of making money.
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