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December 14, 2014Boston, MA, United StatesChild Exploitation

Boston man sentenced to 8 years in prison for child sex trafficking

BOSTON — A Boston man was sentenced Monday to eight years in federal prison for child sex trafficking following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Cambridge Police and the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office.

Mark Pinnock, 23, was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to five years of supervised release. In August 2014, Pinnock pleaded guilty to recruiting and transporting a minor to engage in prostitution. Two co-defendants, Justin Richardson and Martin Pinkney, both of Baltimore, will be sentenced Dec.19 and 22, respectively.

In late December 2013, officers responded to an emergency call from a Cambridge hotel, where they found the 15-year-old victim and Pinnock. The minor stated that Richardson and Pinkney had arranged for her to travel by bus from Baltimore to Boston. Pictures were taken of her in both Baltimore and Boston and used to post ads soliciting prostitution customers on the websites and Craigslist. While in Boston, the minor victim engaged in sex for a fee at the direction of Pinnock at two local hotels.

This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.