Orlando, Florida – Chief U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway today sentenced four individuals to federal prison for their participation in the sex trafficking of a minor. Xavier Francisco Villanueva, a/k/a “X,” (25, Orlando) was sentenced to 19 years and 7 months in federal prison; Jose Carmona, a/k/a “Hood,” (21, Orlando) was sentenced to a term of 12 years and 6 months; Ashley Nicole Barnett, a/k/a “Snow,” (25, Orlando) was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment; and Keith E. Romby, II, a/k/a “PJ,” (23, Orlando) was sentenced to 8 years and 4 months in federal prison.
On September 5, 2014, a federal jury found Villanueva, Carmona, and Barnett guilty of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor. Carmona and Barnett were also found guilty of aiding and abetting each other in the commission of the offense. Romby pleaded guilty to both charges on August 29, 2014.
According to evidence presented at trial, between January 17, 2013, and January 25, 2013, the individuals agreed to recruit and entice a 14-year-old girl to engage in commercial sex acts. Villanueva, Carmona, and Romby were part of the “Nine Trey Billy Bad Ass” gang, which is affiliated with the “Bloods” street gang. Over a period of nine days, they used drugs, intimidation, and physical restraint to cause the minor to engage in prostitution with customers they solicited through the Internet. On January 25, 2013, the minor escaped from the house where she was being held captive.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ilianys Rivera Miranda and Karen Gable.
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 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.