Maryland Woman Accused of Recruiting Teen for Sex Trafficking Ring
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Yanira del Carmen Guerrero Andrade, aka Yadira or Litsy, 28, formerly of Adelphi, Md., has been arrested and accused of recruiting a 15-year-old runaway to engage in commercial sex for a prostitution ring with ties to MS-13. To date, prosecutors have identified nearly two dozen young victims of gang sex trafficking in northern Virginia.
Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C., made the announcement.
“The world of sexual slavery is vile and horrific – but very real in northern Virginia,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Every instance of sex trafficking is sickening and this specific case is no different. Here, the alleged victim was a young, pregnant girl in need of help – but instead of help, Ms. Guerrero Andrade is accused of sexually exploiting her for profit. Our utmost priority is to protect our children, and we will continue to go after those who prey on them and lure them into the sexual trade.”
“HSI is committed to preventing MS-13 from luring vulnerable teenage victims into a life of prostitution for their own greed,” said Special Agent in Charge Torres. “We will continue to diligently work with our law enforcement partners to combat gang sex trafficking in our communities.”
Guerrero Andrade was charged by criminal complaint of child sex trafficking, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, if convicted. She was arrested this morning in Hyattsville, Md., without incident and made her initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge T. Rawles Jones Jr. this afternoon.
According to an affidavit filed with the court, Guerrero Andrade first met the victim in 2008 at a nightclub in Hyattsville, Md., after the victim had run away from home. Guerrero Andrade helped the victim, who had become pregnant, find a place to stay and later allegedly recruited her to work as a prostitute for an organization run by Guerrero Andrade’s boyfriend. Guerrero Andrade and her boyfriend kept a portion of the proceeds the victim earned.
Court records allege that on the first day the victim was trafficked, she had sexual relations with approximately 15 customers, and on the third day she had sexual relations with 25 customers. Guerrero Andrade allegedly knew that the victim was less than 18 years old and instructed her to use an alias and say that she was 20 years old. Guerrero Andrade also allegedly introduced the victim to other men besides her boyfriend so the victim could work as a prostitute for them. Several customers allegedly requested the victim specifically because she looked young.
This case was investigated by ICE HSI, with assistance from the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Marc J. Birnbaum and Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Frank are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies – along with nongovernmental organizations – dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes. From FY2011 to the present, 46 defendants have been prosecuted in 27 cases in the Eastern District of Virginia for human trafficking and trafficking-related conduct involving at least 32 victims.
Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.