FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Two local residents were sentenced to federal prison for running an escort service with underage sex-trafficking victims in South Florida, following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.
David Pierre, 34, was sentenced in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on Oct. 22 before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas to 10 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release as a sex offender. Additionally, Jenna Linden, 24, was sentenced in federal court on Sept. 23 before Judge Dimitrouleas to five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release as a sex offender. Linden and Pierre pleaded guilty to sex trafficking a minor on July 15 and Aug.13, respectively.
The ICE-led investigation began in November 2008, after a 14-year-old victim of the escort service run by Pierre was rescued in Fort Lauderdale. Subsequently, another 16-year-old victim of Pierre's escort service was discovered. Pierre operated a prostitution ring disguised as an escort service from his Ft. Lauderdale residence. He advertised his business on the Internet. Linden assisted Pierre with transporting the underage victims to customers throughout the south Florida area.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals through Operation Predator.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
The investigation was conducted by ICE's Office of Investigations in Fort Lauderdale with the assistance of Homestead Police Department, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Broward County Sheriff's Office, and Alachua County Sheriff's Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sivashree Sundaram, Southern District of Florida, prosecuted this case.