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Human Smuggling/Trafficking
02/12/2013

Man sentenced to 12 years for child sex trafficking

Teenage girl prostituted in Southern California hotels and motels

SAN DIEGO – A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a San Diego man Monday to serve 150 months in federal prison for the trafficking of a 14-year-old girl he prostituted over the course of several days at various motels and hotels in Southern California.

Randy Martell Ballard, 28, pleaded guilty in November 2012 to child sex trafficking following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the National City Police Department. In addition to the prison term, Ballard was ordered to pay a $1 million fine and register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

"Child sex trafficking is an unmerciful crime," said Derek Benner, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. "HSI special agents are committed to fully pursuing those who take advantage of our most valuable resource – the young and vulnerable children who fall victim to these intolerable acts."

According to the case special agents, after Ballard recruited the victim in El Paso, Texas, he purchased a one-way Greyhound bus ticket for the two of them to Los Angeles. He then prostituted the girl under a false name and posted online prostitution ads for her services.

HSI special agents arrested Ballard and rescued the victim in May 2012 during an undercover sting at a Los Angeles-area hotel.