Gang Member Sentenced to 13 Years in Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor
PORTLAND, Ore. – Pedro Cruz Gonzales, 33, of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced by the Honorable Robert E. Jones to 13 years in federal prison following the defendant’s guilty plea to sex trafficking of a minor. Upon his release from prison, the defendant will serve a five year term of supervised release.
In pleading guilty, the defendant admitted that between August 2011 and September 2011, he recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, and maintained a minor female knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact that she would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act.
Prior to imposing the sentence, Judge Jones recounted the defendant’s criminal history, his gang membership, the nature of the crime and then noted that the defendant was “a very bad, bad and dangerous man” who “engaged in one of the worst forms of a crime, sex trafficking with a minor.” In imposing the 13 year sentence, the Court directly addressed the defendant and told him, “Society needs to be protected from you.”
“We could not agree with Judge Jones more,” stated U.S. Attorney S. Amanda Marshall. “The prosecution of sex trafficking cases is a priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and sentences such as this send a powerful message that sex trafficking is a horrendous crime that we will aggressively prosecute.”
“Mr. Gonzales exploited one of the most vulnerable populations in society, runaway teenage girls, by preying upon their youth, vulnerabilities, and desperate circumstances,” said Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill. “Cases such as this highlight the collaborative efforts of law enforcement and victim service groups in investigating and prosecuting these cases, as well as the continued need for preventative measures to ensure kids never find themselves in this situation in the first place.”
This case was investigated by Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Prostitution Coordination Detail, the Portland Police Bureau’s Minor Victims of Sex Trafficking Unit, the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. Sexual Assault Resource Center helped with providing victim assistance. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Glen “J.R.” Ujifusa was the lead prosecutor on the case, and was assisted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Kerin. Mr. Ujifusa is a Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney who also prosecutes sex trafficking cases in federal court as a member of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Gang and Sex Trafficking Unit.