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Child Exploitation
10/26/2011

US attorney applauds ICE for its investigation of a teen prostitution ring

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The U.S. attorney for the district of Connecticut, David B. Fein, acknowledged U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for its relentless investigation of a Connecticut man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The guilty plea by Theodore Briggs, also known as "PeeJaye," 23, of Norwalk, Conn., was announced by Fein, who credited HSI and the Norwalk Police Department with bringing Briggs to justice.

"The U.S. attorney's office is committed to prosecuting sex trafficking crimes that involve the victimization of minors," stated U.S. Attorney Fein. "I want to commend ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the Norwalk Police Department for their vigilance in investigating this heinous criminal activity."

"We view this acknowledgement as a testament to our unwavering commitment to investigate these crimes cooperatively with local law enforcement to develop the strongest evidence possible to successfully prosecute these cases," said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI in New England. "Our efforts to identify, investigate and prosecute child predators remain relentless."

According to court records, Briggs and others were involved in a prostitution business. In pleading guilty, Briggs admitted that, in November and December 2010, he knowingly prostituted a minor female victim. At the time, the girl was 14 years old. Briggs and others transported the girl from Connecticut to New York and Atlantic City, N.J., to engage in prostitution. As part of his prostitution enterprise, Briggs posted photographs of the young victim on a website known as Backpage.com. Briggs kept most, if not all of the proceeds that the victim earned for engaging in sex acts with men.

Briggs is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall on Jan.13, 2012. He faces a mandatory minimum 10-year prison term and a maximum term of imprisonment for life.

Assistant U.S.Attorneys Alina P. Reynolds and Krishna R. Patel prosecuted this case which was heard by U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport.