A member of the MS-13 gang was sentenced to 60 months in prison for obstructing child sex trafficking laws, the Justice Department announced Monday.
Victor Manuel Contreras was sentenced by a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. His 60 months will be followed by five years of supervised release.
According to the Justice Department, Contreras used Facebook to chat with an underaged female who told him she would like to run away from home. Contreras offered to help and provided the girl lodging with other MS-13 gang members.
The MS-13 members, the Justice Department said in its announcement, “subsequently coerced her into prostitution.”
“When law enforcement officers interviewed Contreras during their search for the girl, Contreras lied about his relationship with her, and then called other MS-13 gang members to warn them that law enforcement officers were looking for her,” the announcement added.
MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha gang has been in the news in recent weeks for its reported efforts to recruit the unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors from Central America flooding across the southern border and currently in federal custody.
Earlier in the summer Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer expressed concern that the ongoing crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the country could result in more MS-13 members entering the U.S.
“[W]e know that MS-13, one of the world’s most notorious international gangs, has strong ties to several of the Central American countries from which these aliens are arriving,” Brewer wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders in June. “The administration’s refusal to properly verify that violent criminals are not among those entering the United States shows an alarming lack of concern for our homeland’s security. As a nation, we cannot sit back and allow this policy to continue.”