Yimmy Pineda-Penado, aka “Critico,” 22, of Alexandria, Va., was sentenced today to 210 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for his role in a gang-run juvenile prostitution ring.
According to court documents and testimony, Pineda-Penado, originally from El Salvador, became involved in juvenile sex trafficking through his membership in MS-13. He was personally responsible for prostituting at least one juvenile female. His involvement in MS-13’s juvenile sex trafficking scheme lasted from the fall of 2009 until the spring of 2010.
MS-13 members prostituted the victim at various motels and apartments in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Falls Church in Virginia, as well as in Maryland. The victim was not permitted to leave the prostitution scheme, and MS-13 members plied her with drugs and alcohol to make her more compliant while her body was being exploited for profit.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and HIS Washington, D.C., with assistance from the Fairfax County Police Department and the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Zachary Terwilliger and Patricia Giles prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies – along with nongovernmental organizations – dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes. From FY2011 to the present, 44 defendants have been prosecuted in 25 cases in the Eastern District of Virginia for human trafficking and trafficking-related conduct involving at least 32 victims.
Anyone who suspects instances of human trafficking is encouraged to call the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423) or to complete its online tip form: http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp. Anonymous calls are welcome.