A federal prosecutor is seeking a 120-month prison sentence for a pimp who transported two underage girls, 14 and 17 years old, across several state lines and into Anaheim near Disneyland to work as $200 an hour, drugged prostitutes last year.
The requested punishment is significantly below a federal sentencing guideline call for an incarceration term between 168 and 210 months, but Assistant United States Attorney Mark P. Takla believes the lower sentence "is not greater than necessary" to serve justice for Eric Lamar Wells, 26.
U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney will make the final decision about Wells, who remains in custody, at a scheduled June 20 sentencing hearing inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.
According to the FBI, Wells and Tonisha Alecia Moore, his girlfriend and mother of his child, lured the young girls into prostitution in Las Vegas, then took them to Phoenix, Anaheim and Sacramento before their arrests.
Wells gave the unidentified teenagers illegal narcotics, sold them for intercourse in online ads that occasionally offered two-for-one discounts and expected them each to bring him at least $500 a day in income, according to an FBI report.
Moore, 24, has also pleaded guilty to secret terms and Carney, who sealed her confession, is scheduled to sentence her on July 8.
A joint federal and local law enforcement task force has been increasing its focus on detecting human trafficking crimes in Orange County.
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District Attorney Tony Rackauckas recently assigned several deputy prosecutors to a new unit created to bring more human trafficking cases to state court.
Police departments in Anaheim, Garden Grove and Westminster have veteran officers who are experts in investigating these types of cases.