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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Maryland man convicted of transporting minor across state lines for prostitution

RICHMOND, Va. — A 36-year-old Maryland man was convicted by a federal jury Wednesday for transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of prostitution. This case was investigated by the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Stafford County Sheriff's Office and the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office.

Mustafa Muhammad, 36, of Clinton, Maryland, faces between 10 years and life in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 11.

According to court records and evidence at trial, Muhammad met a 16-year-old runaway online in February 2014 and then began communicating with her via text message. In February, Muhammad and the juvenile met in Maryland, and Muhammad posted an advertisement on backpage.com featuring the juvenile and offering her for prostitution. The juvenile provided Muhammad some of the money she made prostituting herself.

In March 2014, Muhammad suggested that they travel to Virginia for the juvenile to work in prostitution. On March 14, Muhammad drove the juvenile from Maryland to a Holiday Inn in Fredericksburg. Muhammad then posted an advertisement on backpage.com in Fredericksburg, advertising the juvenile for prostitution. A Stafford Sheriff's deputy was looking for possible prostitution activity on backpage.com and discovered the juvenile's ad. The deputy arranged to meet the juvenile and discovered she was a 16-year-old runaway.

Muhammad was indicted April 15.