A leader in the MS-13 street gang has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for preying on teenage girls and forcing them into prostitution throughout Northern Virginia.
Prosecutors say Rances Amaya, 24, of Springfield was a "shot-caller" in MS-13, a gang with roots in El Salvador.
A federal jury in Alexandria convicted Amaya in February of sex trafficking girls as young as 14. Amaya denied the allegations.
Court testimony indicated Amaya raped the girls, threatened them and gave them drugs to keep them compliant.
The 50-year sentence imposed Friday was less than the life term sought by prosecutors but far longer than the term of less than 20 years requested by Amaya's attorney.
Amaya is the fourth MS-13 member convicted of sex trafficking at the Alexandria courthouse.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
History doesn't have to be grim; there is a lot to be learned from the pages of time.
Contributions to the Communities Sports desk from readers.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc