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June 28, 2023San Diego, CA, United StatesChild Exploitation

HSI San Diego case results in 12-year sentence for Chula Vista man for attempted child sex trafficking

SAN DIEGO — Keenon Green, who used social media to try to recruit someone he believed was a 16-year-old female into prostitution, was sentenced in federal court to 144 months in prison on June 14. This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

A jury convicted Green of attempted sex trafficking of children and attempted enticement of a minor after a three-day jury trial in February.

“Sex traffickers typically prey on and sexually exploit the most vulnerable population. Fortunately, in this case, the defendant was speaking to a law enforcement officer — not a 16-year-old girl,” said HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz. “HSI is committed to using proactive efforts to target and prevent sex trafficking offenses. Together, we can more effectively eradicate this vile criminal activity from the community.”

From Dec. 16, 2021, to Jan. 14, 2022, Green used Instagram direct messages and cell phone text messages to lure into prostitution a social media user he knew as “Lexi,” who told him she was 16 years old.

Green promised to protect Lexi on “the blade,” a slang term that refers to an area where prostitutes and sex workers solicit sex buyers. He also promised to get her false identification and post commercial sex advertisements for her online. Green assured her that she could “charge 350 a hour and only be in there 30 mins max.” He even offered to teach her how to drive. In return, he expected Lexi to earn $500 a night as a prostitute in the local area and $1,000 a night if they were out of town.

When Lexi finally agreed, Green arranged to pick her up at a local park and planned to take her to Orange County to work on “the blade.” He arrived at the meeting location with feminine items in the trunk of his vehicle, including hair products and a bottle of Vagisil, and officials promptly arrested him.

Green admitted he “ran” seven to nine other women and had earned tens of thousands of dollars, bragging that he “lives off the earnings of a prostitute.” Instagram records showed that at the same time he was enticing Lexi to work for him as a prostitute, he was attempting to recruit multiple other women through the platform, telling them that their “anatomy is the most valuable thing on this earth” and that he could help them “use it wisely.”

He was not above using violence and threats of violence to keep prostitutes in line. In an audio message presented at sentencing, Green repeatedly threatened one woman who was working for him as a prostitute, screaming that he would commit specific acts of violence against her.

“The sentence imposed today recognizes the severity of the crime for which Mr. Green has been convicted,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Fortunately, proactive efforts by our law enforcement partners identified Mr. Green as someone willing to exploit the most vulnerable members of our society for nothing more than his own financial gain. This case should serve as a clear warning that law enforcement will not tolerate these crimes and will do everything in our power to protect children in our communities.” Grossman also thanked the prosecution team, the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, HSI and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for their excellent work on this case.

“Today’s announcement is a result of strong partnerships by law enforcement agencies uniting to put a stop sexual violence and exploitation,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that those who engage in sex trafficking and target vulnerable youth in our communities will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. I want to thank my team with the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners for their collaboration in making California a safer place. When we work together, we get results. Protecting public safety is our highest priority and we won’t rest until the job is done.”

This case is the result of the ongoing efforts of the Violent Crime and Human Trafficking (VCHT) Section. Formed in 2019, the VCHT is tasked with leading collaborations between federal and local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of cases involving violent crimes, firearms and gang cases; sex trafficking and child exploitation; civil rights and labor trafficking. The VCHT Section oversees the Southern District of California coordinators for Project Safe Neighborhoods, Human Trafficking and Project Safe Childhood. The VCHT Section also provides federal prosecutors to the downtown San Diego Violent Crimes Task Force-Gang Group, the North County Gang Task Force and the East County Gang Task Force.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI's workforce of more than 8,700 employees is comprised of more than 6,000 special agents stationed in 237 U.S. cities and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI's international presence represents the largest DHS investigative law enforcement presence overseas and one of the largest in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 06/29/2023