Three Indicted on Federal Charges Related to Sex Trafficking of a Minor
Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury today indicted Michael Andrew Davila, age 26, of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Elsie Liseth Pazmino, age 28, also of Berwyn Heights, and John David Hamlett, age 32, of Laurel, Maryland, for conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking of a minor, and transportation of a minor for prostitution.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to the three count indictment, between January and March 2015, the defendants conspired to, and did, have the victim, who was under the age of 18, engage in commercial sex acts.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that Davila enticed the victim to engage in prostitution and created and posted advertisements on the Internet that advertised the victim for prostitution. According to the indictment, the advertisements used a false name and age for the victim and included pictures of another female, not the victim. Davila and Pazmino allegedly answered text messages and calls from clients seeking to engage in sexual acts with the victim and arranged “dates” for the victim with those clients. According to the indictment, Davila and Pazmino arranged and paid for hotel rooms in which the victim engaged in prostitution. The defendants allegedly transported the victim to locations within and outside Maryland to engage in prostitution and benefited financially from the proceeds of the victim’s prostitution.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Davila, Pazmino and Hamlett were previously charged by criminal complaint. After an initial appearance on the charges in the criminal complaint, Davila and Hamlett were ordered to be detained and Pazmino was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services. No date has been set for the defendants’ initial appearance and arraignment on the indictment.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
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.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat child prostitution, with members from10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Task Force coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing children being advertised online for prostitution.
MCETF partners with the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, formed in 2007 to discover and rescue victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. Members include federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as victim service providers and local community members. For more information about the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, please visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/priorities_human.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Anne Arundel County Police Department for its assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristi N. O’Malley and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe, who are prosecuting the case.