Two Plead Guilty to High School Sex Trafficking Ring
Men face possible life in prison.
Two men accused of recruiting high school girls into a sex trafficking ring pleaded guilty Thursday.
Michael Tavon Jefferies, a 21-year-old Woodbridge man who went by the name "Loc," and Christopher Sylvia, a 23-year-old Springfield man, pleaded guilty to a charge of sex trafficking of a juvenile.
In March, Jefferies and Sylvia were charged, along with three other men, with recruiting high school students and forcing them into prostitution through their gang, the Underground Gangster Crips.
"Through flattery, coercion and threats of violence, they would lure these young women into prostitution," said Neil H. McBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, of the alleged gang members.
In a plea agreement, Jefferies admitted to belonging to the gang while it ran the sex ring from April 2009 to March 2012. Jefferies worked as a bodyguard, collecting money from johns and posting ads on Backpage.com to get customers.
As part of Sylvia's plea agreement, he admitted that he helped the gang transport teenagers in November 2011 and January 2012 when they went to meet customers.
Both men face sentences of between 10 years and life in prison. Jefferies is scheduled to be sentenced on July 6, while Sylvia's sentencing is scheduled for July 20.