Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. in Santa Ana got together, kicked the tires on pimping cases both brought against a 19-year-old South Los Angeles man and decided the case will be tried in federal court. That is because, for allegedly trafficking in girls between the ages of 14 and 16, Curtis Maurice Canady, who also goes by "Cash," could go to prison for life with a conviction in U.S. District Court.
The minimum time Canady faces for conviction on either of two counts of child sex trafficking is 10 years in federal prison.
Rackauckas' office had been first to announce state charges against him of two counts of human trafficking with the intent to pander, two counts of pandering a minor by procuring, and one count of attempted pimping.
The state and federal agencies are essentially gambling on five years of prison time, because the maximum sentence Canady faced with a conviction in Orange County Superior Court was 15 years in state prison.
It's worth it, according to the heads of the respective government prosecution agencies. Birotte says in a joint statement, "This case demonstrates the value of collaborative law enforcement to most effectively bring justice to the victims of this most troubling offense."
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T-Rack is more blunt in the same release: "The U.S. Attorney and I will coordinate efforts to take these modern-day slave owners and human traffickers off the streets and prosecute them for the greatest possible punishment under the law for sexually exploiting children for their greedy purposes."
Canady was arrested July 25 as part of an FBI-led initiative called "Operation Cross Country." According to the federal complaint, he had driven female prostitutes, including two girls who are 15 and 16, to Anaheim.
Task force investigators located one victim in a motel room in Los Angeles on the 25th, and she not only admitted to working as a prostitute for Canady but that she accompanied him and another minor to Las Vegas, where they worked as prostitutes. The investigation determined one underage girl had been advertised online for prostitution services in the Palmdale area, according to the FBI.