Northern Virginia police arrest violent gang forcing high school girls to prostitute www.privateofficer.com
The defendants, most of whom were arrested overnight, were scheduled to appear in federal court Friday afternoon in Alexandria, Va., on charges that include underage sex trafficking.
The alleged ringleader is identified in court documents as Justin Strom, 26, of Lorton, Va., a suburb of Washington. He is described as the Fairfax County, Va., leader of the Underground Gangster Crips. The arrests of the five alleged members of the gang follow six other arrests of members of the gang in the past year and a half, officials said.
The investigation began in September 2011, but an affidavit lists alleged crimes by the reputed gang members dating back to 2006.
Officials from the U.S. attorney’s office, the Virginia attorney general’s office and others said Strom and his associates recruited high school girls to work for them as prostitutes and vowed violence if they tried to leave.
Authorities identified at least 10 high school girls between 16 and 18 years of age who were recruited.
The amounts of money involved were generally small, with prostitutes often receiving $50 for performing sexual acts.
Authorities arrested Michael Jefferies, 21, of Woodbridge on Wednesday night. Police said he handled the money.
They arrested Strom and Henock Ghile, 23, of Springfield early Thursday. Ghile transported the girls, police said.
Donyel Dove, an alleged bodyguard and driver, was arrested on March 24 in Warren County on separate charges, police said.
The fifth man, Christopher Sylvia, 22, of Springfield, Va., was arrested on March 8 as a driver in the sex trafficking conspiracy, police said.