California Man Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Child Sex Trafficking And Witness Tampering
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A California man who was convicted of recruiting and transporting a child from California to Las Vegas, Nevada, to engage in commercial sex acts was sentenced today to 300 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
After a three-day jury trial in February of 2018, Brandon Lamar Pruitt, 35, of Compton, California, was found guilty of child sex trafficking and transportation of a minor for prostitution. He was previously convicted by a jury of being a felon in possession of a firearm and tampering with a witness or a victim. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon sentenced Pruitt to a term of lifetime supervised release.
Beginning in 2013, Pruitt persuaded and recruited a 14-year-old girl to prostitute for him. Over the course of the following three years, Pruitt convinced the minor female to stay with him and arranged her travel from California to Las Vegas to engage in commercial sex acts. He acted as the victim’s pimp, took photos of her that were posted online for prostitution dates, and booked hotel rooms for the dates. Pruitt used violent force and the victim’s romantic feelings for him to coerce and entice the victim’s compliance. The victim would give him money she earned from working as a prostitute. After he was arrested, Pruitt tampered with the victim and attempted to prevent her from cooperating with law enforcement in prosecuting the federal criminal charges. Furthermore, Pruitt unlawfully possessed two stolen guns, a Browning .22 caliber buck mark and a Glock .40 caliber, after sustaining prior felony convictions in California.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and Innocence Lost Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elham Roohani and Christopher Burton prosecuted the case.
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 and for information about internet safety education, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.