Sex trafficking ring exploiting minor girls busted after months of operating under police radar

This month, three men in Texas were sentenced to federal prison for operating a sex trafficking ring involving underage girls as young as 13.

A statement from the Western District of Texas’ U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that a U.S. District judge sentenced Khalil S. Maxwell, 22, to 25 years, Daniel Chavez, 28, to 10 years, and Raymundo Nettles,21, to nine years.

Maxwell ran the ring in El Paso from March 2015 through October 2016, using violence on the victims, ages 13 to 17, to coerce them into prostitution. Chavez and Nettles reportedly rented the hotel rooms and drove the girls to locations where they would perform sex acts.

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Homeland Security Investigations conducted the probe that resulted in the three men’s arrests. Maxwell pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children by force, fraud, or coercion and sex trafficking of children. A month earlier, Chavez and Nettles pleaded guilty to a related conspiracy charge.

The El Paso Times reports that prosecutors dropped sex trafficking of children by force, fraud, or coercion charges against Chavez and Nettles as part of a plea deal.

All three men will serve 10 years of supervised release after they complete their federal prison sentences. Officials said the sentencing judge also ordered each of the three men to pay a $5,000 special assessment under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

“Today the miscreants who inflicted violence on children to coerce them into selling sex were given long prison terms,” U.S. Attorney John F. Bash said in the statement. “While I am proud of our prosecutors and law-enforcement agents for delivering justice in this case, we need to do more as a society to prevent this kind of abuse in the first place.”

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[Featured image: Pixabay]