Thursday, August 09, 2012

SUR-13 Gang Member Sentenced to 168 Months in Prison for Sex Trafficking Virginia Teen

First Sur-13 Gang Member Conviction for Child Sex Trafficking Highlights U.S. Attorney’s Office Zero-Tolerance Policy Towards Trafficking

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Ramiro Espinoza Jamaica, also known as “Criminal,” 21, of Manassas, Virginia, was sentenced today to 168 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for the sex trafficking of a juvenile female in Northern Virginia.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Charlie T. Deane, Prince William County Chief of Police; and Douglas W. Keen, Manassas City Chief of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge T.S. Ellis, III. Espinoza Jamaica pled guilty to the sex trafficking of a child on April 12, 2012.

“Ramiro Jamaica, better known as ‘Criminal,’ is a SUR-13 gang member who preyed on a vulnerable 14-year-old girl. After luring her into his apartment, he sexually abused her, physically assaulted her, and then made money by prostituting her to a stranger,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “My office has charged 11 Northern Virginia gang members with juvenile sex trafficking and will continue our zero-tolerance policy against all human traffickers. Today’s conviction sends a strong message that we will put away anyone who sexually exploits children in this district, even a single time.”

“The trafficking and prostitution of a child is one of the most horrific and despicable crimes that we investigate,” said Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “This investigation clearly demonstrates the FBI’s resolve in bringing those who exploit children to justice.”

“This case represents the great working relationships between federal and local law enforcement—working with the U.S. Attorney’s to ensure we have solid cases to prosecute these offenders who prey on the weak,” said Manassas Police Chief Keen.

According to court documents, Jamaica, a Mexican-born U.S. citizen, is a member of SUR-13, a transnational street gang that is active in Northern Virginia. In and around early 2011, Jamaica harbored a runaway 14-year-old girl for purposes of prostitution. Despite the juvenile’s young age, Jamaica exploited her for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts. Jamaica escorted the juvenile to a prostitution appointment, used his sublet bedroom in Manassas for a prostitution appointment, and provided the juvenile with alcohol in preparation for the commercial sex acts. Jamaica willingly and knowingly engaged in this conduct.

Jamaica is the first SUR-13 gang member to be convicted of child sex trafficking in the Eastern District of Virginia. In addition to SUR-13, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia has charged and convicted members of the Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) international street gang and the Underground Gangster Crips gang with the sex trafficking of juveniles. This prosecution is also noteworthy in that, unlike other recent juvenile sex trafficking cases successfully prosecuted in this district, Jamaica prostituted the victim on only one known occasion, yet the United States Attorney’s Office successfully secured a conviction for child sex trafficking.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office, with assistance from the Prince William County Police Department, the Manassas City Police Department, and the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Terwilliger and Special Assistant United States Attorney A. Marisa Chun 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 nongovernmental organizations—dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes.

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