WASHINGTON, June 1 (UPI) -- The leader of the MS-13 gang was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sex trafficking of teenage girls in northern Virginia, the Justice Department said Friday.
Rances Ulices Amaya, 24, also known as "Murder" and "Blue," was convicted by a jury Feb. 23 of conspiracy and three counts of sex trafficking of a child, the Justice Department said in a release.
Documents indicate Amaya recruited girls as young as 14 from middle schools, high schools and homeless shelters and forced them to engage in commercial sex acts for the MS-13.
"Rances Amaya's gang name was 'Murder,' and in a real sense he killed the hopes and dreams of teenage girls whom he systematically and sadistically victimized," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said. "He told these girls that he owned them and that he would hurt their loved ones if they didn't comply. They were his sex slaves, and that slavery goes to the heart of the heinous crime of sex trafficking."
Court documents indicate Amaya also used his violent reputation to ensure customers paid for sex and did not lure the underage victims away, among other things. Amaya and his MS-13 co-conspirator used illegal aliens as customers because they believed illegal aliens were unlikely to call the police.
The documents indicated Amaya would distribute his telephone number at construction sites and convenience stores frequented by day laborers from Latin America.
Amaya is the fourth MS-13 member to be convicted of sex trafficking children in the Eastern District of Virginia, the Justice Department said.