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The feds say they busted a prostitution ring involving high school girls some as young as sixteen.
Prosecutors say it operated from a wealthy Virginia county near the nation's capital.
Investigators say an offshoot of the crips gang ran the ring recruiting the girls as they left school or on web sites including FaceBook.
And federal prosecutors say if any of these girls resisted or tried to quit gang members would threaten her and in some cases beat her.
Many of the victims in this case.
Were girls from good homes in -- good neighborhoods who were approached.
By the gang members and blurred into.
And -- prostitution court records show in one case the accused ringleader.
Force the seventeen year old girl to have sex with him.
And fourteen other man.
Catherine Herridge is live in Washington this afternoon -- -- US attorney's office held a news comes on this a short time ago -- we learn about this.
Well -- set the US attorney telling reporters his social networking with a significant factor in the case.
This criminal complaint includes FaceBook messages about exchanging sex for drugs or money here's one exchange between an alleged gang member identified.
As W and W quote trick and like you get 50% and you get to drugs and stuff you want basically.
Escorting type stuff Islamabad to sleep with them but all go out and just hit me up with the -- -- The ages ranged between 161718.
Some are older.
But typically they could they would work for anywhere from last several weeks to several months.
Been forced to prosecute themselves as many as ten times -- night.
That's dozens of times over the course of the week.
For -- -- weeks at a time.
And five alleged gang members are in custody today crips -- recently got a life sentence in that Virginia court for trafficking twelve year old girl.
And the FBI still searching for more that can -- from from everything we were reading here get it seems like it was impossible for these girls to get out of this once they get into it.
Well I think that's correct the court documents state that these teenage girls most of them were living at home at the time we're threatened or beaten as well beaten once they wanted out and the lead FBI agent saying.
The violence was real and it was devastating.
I think what they were being promised on the front end was to engage in these relationships -- money.
And as some of our victims try to pull back from this and get out of this this offer this situation.
What what was delivered to them was violence violence on them cutting them assaulting them other forms of violence.
-- for the tip that broke of this alleged ring US attorney would only say that -- what's involved Catherine Herridge live in Washington veterans day with -- and lawyers.
When prosecutor -- Jenkins Fox News legal analyst and four prosecutors so.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You start with -- the ages I mean it is really sixteen year old involved that's that's horrible but what the prosecute for prosecutors said.
Year olds and older.
That becomes then the issue is did they make a choice or what -- threatens to get into it over.
Sixteen is different twelve that we just what what is is a whole introductory different crime that with the sentence is a much more harsh.
So I wanna look a little deeper into how this began.
And then what was the threat when they wanted to -- was in a real threat of physical violence.
Or was it listen if you don't do it is -- huge bust out now we're gonna tell everyone on the street.
That your blah blah we need to dig a little deeper before you make a final.
-- should be noted you know in recent years we've really seen a decrease in violent gang activity in the -- movement.
To the basic side of the gangs where they're using sex trafficking as a source of -- com.
And how easy is it pretty and now to use web sites like FaceBook they don't have to go out now in -- Be on the street trying to recruit young girls they can reach out to -- -- end more than.
Via the Internet so what's making it a lot easier and it's becoming a source of income for -- might just like the drug activity aspect -- it.
So I mean I think prosecution taking -- my approach to this.
And and if they really in the the.
Are focusing on this is a crime in a way the damage done in the past over the past few years many of the district attorney's offices and again speak for the New York federal offices.
They are focuses on sex trafficking and because of technology because of the Internet because a cell phones and email they are actually can follow.
Where I young woman goes from being a young woman to wait did young working woman who was working with the portal -- protection.
I'm somebody who sets up these.
Appointments a -- -- whatever they call him.
But a lot of times shepherd he's federal investigations start out that it's going to be huge amount -- on comedy is best.
Steam and it turns of the -- a lot smaller than what they initially thought they were about we've seen -- -- -- he did mention a sixteen year old those -- -- specifically.
-- -- -- -- -- You know -- and trust -- when the federal government has evolved they have done it the year there their investigation is generally pretty airtight.
I mean they probably have -- chat logs and faced -- Messages and all of those things in place.
And ready to the issue -- always be ready when -- with these women willingly doing -- -- -- -- forced to do I think.
Even so -- what we find it to be -- more deplorable.
If someone has threatened what is a sixteen year old girl who's in a bus shelter whose family should just throw in or out -- -- -- -- got nowhere to go.
That someone be friends -- forces are into -- from prosecution -- prostitution doesn't matter that's under age -- He does and that it.
It doesn't matter except except.
In the bigger picture the way we look at it social.
Right all right guys thanks very much would if they were forced into this.
-- incredible story will cops say a former.
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