L.A. County Man Arrested on Federal Complaint Charging Him with Transporting Teenager Across State Lines to Engage in Prostitution
SANTA ANA, California – A Los Angeles County man has been arrested on a federal criminal complaint charging him with transporting a teenage girl in interstate commerce so she could work as a prostitute in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona.
Christian Alexander Augustus, 23, a.k.a. “Sir Ceeco,” was arrested in Stockton on Tuesday. He made his initial appearance in United States District Court in Sacramento on August 28, and was ordered detained pending trial. He remains in federal custody in Sacramento and will be transferred to this district at a later date to face the charges against him.
According to an affidavit filed Monday with the criminal complaint in this case, the victim was a 16-year-old runaway from Orange County who met Augustus in Los Angeles in December 2018 and he had been her trafficker until she fled from him in July 2019. Prior to the victim fleeing, Augustus allegedly took her to Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Las Vegas and Phoenix, where she worked for him as a prostitute and would give him all the money she made. Augustus forced the victim to work on the streets and advertised her services on the internet, the affidavit states
The victim said Augustus would beat her for not bringing him enough money and later for attempting to flee, according to the affidavit. The victim said when she tried to flee Augustus in Phoenix on July 1, he beat her so severely that she suffered two black eyes, a bruised rib, and swelling to face, the affidavit states. The victim fled Augustus on July 8 and said he later contacted her and threatened to kill her and her family, according to the affidavit.
If convicted of the charge, Augustus would face a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter was investigated by the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF), which is comprised of local law enforcement agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. The Stockton Police Department and the Stockton HSI office provided substantial assistance to this case via their arrest of Augustus on Monday.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Nare of the Santa Ana Branch Office.
The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force core mission is to use a victim-centered and trauma-informed approach toward the goal of combating human trafficking in Orange County, making the recovery of juvenile victims its top priority.