Alleged Gang Members Charged With Prostituting High School Girls | News
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) -- Five alleged gang members are accused of recruiting teen girls into a prostitution business, announced U.S. Attorney for the East District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride. U.S. District Court documents list the five as Justin "Jae" Deonta Strom, Donyel Pier "Bleek" Dove, Michael Tavon "Loc" Jefferies, Henock Solomon "Knocks" Ghile and Christopher Sylvia.
Strom, Jefferies, Dove and Ghile were charged with conspiring to transport a juvenile to engage in a commercial sex act. They could get a sentence of up to life in prison if they are convicted of the crime. Jefferies was allegedly in charge of the money, and was a bodyguard and driver for the operation. Dove allegedly served as a bodyguard and driver as well, and Ghile allegedly transported girls to client appointments.
According to the U.S. Attorney, a total of 11 alleged Underground Gangster Crips (UGC) members based in Fairfax County, Va. have been charged with underage sex trafficking since 2011 as part of several joint investigations between the FBI and Fairfax County Police. At least 10 high school girls between the ages of 16 and 18 are identified as potential victims.
Court documents show that the alleged gang members used violence and threats to try to prevent the girls from leaving. One victim was allegedly held at knife point and raped by Strom when she didn't do as she was told. According to the U.S. attorney's office, she was then forced to have sex with 14 men she didn't know. The men paid Strom approximately $1,000.
According to unsealed court documents, alleged UGC leader Justin Strom reportedly approached a 16-year-old girl on the Metro in 2009, flattering her by telling her she was pretty and "that she could make a lot of money by having sex with men for money." When the girl expressed interest, Strom reportedly told her that he "needed to see if it was good first" and they had sex in the woods behind the Metro station. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, those involved in the prostitution operation often approached girls at bus or train stops to recruit them and then get them to "try out" before they became prostitutes.
Strom later introduced the girl to another prostitute, according to the documents, who told her about how they would get paid for certain acts. The girl was also given condoms, cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy. The girl told police she engaged in prostitution that spring and summer in Arlington and Fairfax counties, but when she told Strom that she didn't want to do it anymore, he choked and threatened her.
A 17-year-old told police that she had been contacted on Facebook in November 2011 about a way to make money by another 17-year-old (who apparently worked as a prostitute for Strom and helped recruit other young women). The girl who was contacted later engaged in prostitution for Strom in Fairfax County and Alexandria, according to the documents. The documents also show that the 17-year-old stated that Christopher Sylvia, who is charged with transporting a juvenile "to engage in a commercial sex act," drove her to and from locations in his car.
Sylvia has admitted that he is part of UGC, according to the documents. In February 2012, Sylvia allegedly told investigators that Strom was running the prostitution operation and he was asked to serve as a driver. Sylvia allegedly admitted to transporting three 17-year-old girls and a number of women for prostitution. Sylvia, who is from Springfield, was arrested on March 8.
Jefferies was arrested March 27 and Strom and Ghile were arrested on March 28, 2012. Dove was arrested on March 24 on separate charges in Warren County. Dove is currently in state custody, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
According to the documents, the girl who contacted the other 17-year-old on Facebook allegedly told a school employee that she was hanging out with a pimp and wasn't sure what to do, but when investigators followed up she insisted she wasn't in danger and didn't need help. But investigators later used her laptop to trace IP addresses and street addresses linked to Backpage.com accounts associated with sexually explicit ads. They were also able to track down who bought the prepaid credit card used to pay for the ads. When the girl ran away from home in December 2011, later found her at an Alexandria motel with Strom, who she claimed was her boyfriend. She was arrested for an outstanding, juvenile detention order unrelated to the prostitution case. The girl allegedly later told juvenile detention authorities she was a Crip.
The Fairfax County Police Department has a telephone number for anyone with information about cases in Fairfax County: 703-246-4006. You will be asked to leave your contact information.