TAMPA, Fla. – A Tampa man pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to engage in the sex trafficking of a minor, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and the Clearwater Police Department.
According to court documents, Mario Laguna-Guerrero, 27, began recruiting "Jane Doe" to perform commercial sex acts in exchange for money in Hillsborough County sometime in 2008. He transported his victim to various locations, including migrant farm worker camps, for the purpose of having her engage in prostitution. At these locations, Laguna conspired with other individuals for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts with Jane Doe.
Jane Doe, who has an IQ of 58, was less than 18 years old when these acts occurred. Evidence at court showed that she and Laguna were engaged in a relationship with each other and, as a result, Laguna knew how old she was.
Laguna faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE 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, at 1-800-843-5678.