Arrests Made and Charges Added in Federal Investigation of Interstate Sex Trafficking Ring
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a federal grand jury in Harrisburg indicted six men—five residents of Chambersburg and one from Harrisburg—as part of an investigation of an alleged sex trafficking ring operating in six states and the District of Columbia.
The indictment, filed on March 11 and unsealed this week, charges Albert E. “Pipo” Martinez, age 34, of Chambersburg, Anthony “Tony” D’Ambrosio, age 34, of Chambersburg, Antonio ”Tony” Delgado, age 18, of Chambersburg, Armando Delgado, age 20, of Chambersburg and Keanu Martinez, age 19, of Chambersburg, with sex trafficking of minors, transportation to engage in prostitution, distribution of controlled substances, and conspiracy. Brandon Hill, age 28, of Harrisburg, is charged with conspiracy and drug distribution.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Martinez and his co-conspirators allegedly recruited and transported females between the ages of 13 and 18 years old to engage in commercial sex acts in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia. Martinez and the others allegedly rented motel rooms and posted “escort” advertisements and photographs on a website from July 2012 through January 2015. The conspirators allegedly took most of the money made during the course of the prostitution business, and distributed drugs to the women, including oxycodone, cocaine hydrochloride and heroin.
Martinez has been incarcerated on an initial indictment since January 15, 2015 and is scheduled for an arraignment on the March 11 indictment on March 26, 2015.
D’Ambrosio, the Delgados, Martinez and Hill were arrested last week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Chambersburg Police Department, the Franklin County Drug Task Force and the Harrisburg Bureau of Police.
The defendants arrested last week appeared before Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab on March 12 in Harrisburg and ordered temporarily detained. Yesterday, after the detention hearings, Magistrate Judge Schwab ordered the five co-defendants detained pending trial, which is scheduled for May 11, 2015 before the Honorable William W. Caldwell.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment on the offenses involving a minor, as well as a $250,000 fine. Each defendant faces up to 20 years’ incarceration and a $1,000,000 fine if convicted of the drug trafficking offenses.
This continuing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith A. Taylor. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 717-232-8686.
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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.usdoj.gov/psc for more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”