July 9, 2020
By: Staff Report
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew today sentenced Luis Berrios-Trinidad (30, Tampa) to 11 years and 3 months in federal prison for sex trafficking of minors. The court also ordered Berrios-Trinidad to forfeit a Glock 19 9mm handgun and cellular phone, both of which were used during the commission of the offenses.
Berrios-Trinidad had pleaded guilty on January 30, 2020.
According to court documents, in May 2019, Berrios-Trinidad began communicating with undercover law enforcement agents regarding the commercial sex trafficking of underage females. Berrios-Trinidad represented that he had access to girls ranging in age from 14-17 years old, and that the price per girl was between $160-180 an hour.
On June 6, 2019, Berrios-Trinidad arranged to bring two underage females to a hotel for a “sex party” with adult men. On that evening, he arrived with two girls, ages 14 and 17. Once inside the hotel room, Berrios-Trinidad was arrested and the victims were rescued.
“Two young girls were saved from a life of human trafficking with this investigation,” said HSI Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Cochran. “HSI agents will continue to uncover, dismantle and disrupt human trafficking, around the globe, and right here in our own communities.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Candace Garcia Rich.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
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