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Violent Gang, Forcing Teenagers into Prostitution, Busted in Virginia
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A violent gang of five members, who allegedly recruited teenage girls via Facebook and other avenues, and then forced them to sell drugs and do prostitution in Washington region, has been apprehended by U.S. authorities. The gang members are alleged to use violence to force the teenagers, all aged between 16 and 18, to perform sex with them and engage in prostitution under threat.

Out of the 10 girls rescued, a 17-year old girl told the authorities that she was forced to use cocaine and have group sex with 14 men. She also told the authorities that the leader of the gang slashed her with a knife and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement issued on Thursday that “These gang members are alleged to have lured many area high school girls in the vile world of prostitution, and used violence and threats to keep them working as indentured sex slaves.”

  
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MacBride said that most of the girls were initially recruited by flattery, and while the charges are only about 10 teenager victims, the actual number of victims could be much bigger. The ten girls identified were done during the FBI operation that started in November 2011, but there is evidence to suggest that the gang has been in operation for more than five years.

The papers of the FBI complaint were unsealed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria. The FBI affidavit states that the defendants are members of a Crips street gang known as the Underground Gangster Crips. The group was led by 26-year old Justin Strom of Lorton.

Though the racket is much bigger, at least 10 high school girls have been identified, most of who were plied with illegal drugs, beaten when they tried to leave, forced to have sex with Strom or other gang members, and slashed with knives if they refused.

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On many instances of the case occurring in the wealthy Fairfax County, the gang members took the girls door-to-door in apartment complexes in Arlington. On an average the Girls were paid from $20-$100 for sex acts and were supposedly allowed to keep half the money.

The gang members recruited attractive girls by approaching them at school, or on the streets or through Facebook and other social media.



Human trafficking in Washington in such a large scale, for such a long time, and causing what Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli described as “every parent’s worst nightmare” is difficult to envisage without protection from the corridors of power.



 

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