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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index
    Release No. 10-092

    June 10, 2010

    MAN PLEADS GUILTY AND IS SENTENCED TO 17½ YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR SEX TRAFFICKING OF MINORS


    Defendant Prostituted Two Teenage Girls, One of Whom he Met on Internet

    SANTA ANA, California – A Washington, D.C. man was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty this morning to child sex trafficking, admitting that he arranged for two teenage girls to travel to the West Coast, where he had them work as prostitutes in various locations, including Orange County.

    Dwayne Lawson, 29, who has a number of aliases, including “Staydown” and “Christopher Tyrone Young,” received the 17½-year sentence from United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney.

    Lawson pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of children, but admitted in a plea agreement that there were two teenage girls who engaged in commercial sex acts at his direction.

    Lawson was arrested in April 2009, soon after investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department arrested a 17-year-old girl on prostitution charges. After it was learned that the girl was a runaway from Florida, investigators determined that she was working for a pimp, who they later identified as Lawson, according to court documents. Lawson contacted the girl in the fall of 2008 on MySpace.com and, after promising to make her a “star,” gave her a bus ticket from Florida to Las Vegas, Nevada, according to court documents. Following a three-day bus trip from Florida to Las Vegas, Young brought the girl to Orange County, where he had her work as a prostitute, he admitted as part of today’s plea.

    Lawson drove the second victim in the case from Miami to Orange County in 2008 and had the victim engage in commercial sex acts “in various counties and states,” according to the plea agreement.

    “The young people in this case were victimized and exploited in a horrific way,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “This sentence demonstrates that sex traffickers and pimps will suffer severe consequences for their reprehensible conduct,”

    Steven Martinez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, stated: “The FBI worked with the Los Angeles Police Department and San Diego Sheriff’s Department to build a successful case that ended Lawson’s abusive activity and resulted in today’s guilty plea. Agents will continue to collaborate with local law enforcement to investigate those who victimize children in this country by trafficking minors interstate and forcing them into lives of prostitution in order to enrich themselves.”

    The charge of sex trafficking of children carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

    The case against Lawson was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department and the San Diego Sheriff's Department. The FBI investigation was conducted by the Southern Central California Innocence Lost Task Force (SOCAIL). The mission of the SOCAIL Task Force is to provide a rapid and effective investigative response to federal crimes involving child prostitution, reduce the vulnerability of children to acts of sexual exploitation, and strengthen law enforcement capabilities through training programs and investigative assistance. The SOCAIL Task Force in Orange County is made up of agents and officers from the FBI, the California Department of Justice and the Anaheim Police Department.

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    Release No. 10-092

    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index