Man Pleads Guilty to Transporting 16-Year-Old Girl from California to Nevada to Work as a Prostitute
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 29, 2014|
LAS VEGAS—A northern California man pleaded guilty today to transporting a minor female from San Jose, California to Las Vegas, Nevada, to work as a prostitute during May 2013, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Andrew West, 27, of Hayward, California, who was indicted on May 29, 2013, pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of a minor for prostitution and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30, 2014, by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan. West faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and will have to register as a sex offender.
“We must use maximum resources to prevent our children and youth from becoming victims to sex trafficking,” said United States Attorney Bogden. “The kids who fall victim to pimps are typically physically and emotional abused and scarred for life, and we will work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to ensure that these child exploiters who bring kids across state lines for prostitution purposes are prosecuted.”
According to the plea agreement, in early 2013, a 16-year-old female began working as a prostitute for West in Stockton and San Jose, California. On May 3, 2013, West, the 16-year-old girl, and others traveled in several vehicles from San Jose to Las Vegas. The 16-year-old traveled in West’s Lexus automobile, but West told the girl that he could not ride in the vehicle with her until after they arrived in Nevada, because if he were arrested he would get into more trouble for crossing state lines with her because of her age. They arrived in Las Vegas the next day, and West, the 16-year-old girl, and another male checked into a motel on the Boulder Highway. West told the girl to make money (by committing sex acts) to pay for the room. The girl walked the Boulder Highway in search of dates and solicited separate dates with four men who she took back to the motel room. The girl earned a total of $260, part of which was provided to West after each date. The girl was arrested on May 4, 2013, when she attempted to solicit a date from an undercover Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer in the motel parking lot.
The case was investigated the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as part of the Innocence Lost Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicholas D. Dickinson and Phillip N. Smith, Jr.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal
Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.