LAS VEGAS – A northern California man pleaded guilty today to transporting a 16-year-old girl from San Jose, Calif., to Las Vegas in May to work as a prostitute.
Andrew West, 27, of Hayward, Calif., who was indicted May 29, pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of a minor for prostitution. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and will have to register as a sex offender.
West is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30 by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan.
“We must use maximum resources to prevent our children and youth from becoming victims to sex trafficking,” said Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. attorney for the District of Nevada. “The kids who fall victim to pimps are typically physically and emotional abused and scarred for life, and we will work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to ensure that these child exploiters who bring kids across state lines for prostitution purposes are prosecuted.”
According to the plea agreement, in early 2013, the 16-year-old girl began working as a prostitute for West in Stockton and San Jose, Calif. On May 3, West, the victim and others traveled in several vehicles from San Jose to Las Vegas.
The victim traveled in West’s Lexus automobile, but West told her that he could not ride in the vehicle with her until after they arrived in Nevada because if he were arrested he would get into more trouble for crossing state lines with her because of her age.
They arrived in Las Vegas the next day, and West, the victim and another male checked into a motel on the Boulder Highway. West told the girl to make money (by committing sex acts) to pay for the room. The girl walked the Boulder Highway in search of dates and solicited separate dates with four men, who she took back to the motel room.
The girl earned a total of $260, part of which was provided to West after each date. The girl was arrested May 4 when she attempted to solicit a date from an undercover Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer in the motel parking lot.
The case was investigated the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as part of the Innocence Lost Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicholas D. Dickinson and Phillip N. Smith Jr.
The case was brought to court as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
– From news release