ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Maryland man was arrested late yesterday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents on federal charges of transporting a teen girl as part of his prostitution business.
Julio Cesar Revolorio Ramos, 28, of Adelphi, Md., a native of Guatemala illegally present in the United States, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison, if convicted.
"Sex trafficking of a minor is a particularly heinous crime," said John P. Torres, special agent in charge of HSI Washington, D.C. "HSI is fully committed to working with our law enforcement partners, both locally and internationally, to combat the crime of human trafficking."
According to court documents, Ramos allegedly operated a prostitution service that transported women from Maryland to engage in commercial sex with clients in northern Virginia. Starting in January 2009 – when the victim was 15 years old – Ramos allegedly prostituted the teen girl from Maryland, and he continued to prostitute her at various times over the next year and a half. Court records allege that the victim was recruited by Ramos's girlfriend and that the victim lived with them at a residence in Hyattsville, Md.
"We have zero-tolerance for those who exploit vulnerable teen girls for profit," said Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. "Juvenile prostitution is an unconscionable crime, and we're determined to put these prostitution rings out of business in northern Virginia."
"Juvenile sex traffickers represent the worst kind of predators – those who go after children," said Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, II. "My office remains committed to protecting Virginia's most vulnerable citizens from these predators. It is my hope that this arrest will put us one step closer to eradicating human trafficking in Virginia, which is why this task force was put together."
This case was investigated by HSI with assistance from the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Birnbaum and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael 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.