The last of five arrested Fairfax County gang members pleaded guilty on Tuesday to recruiting and exploiting at least eight girls in a Fairfax-based sex-trafficking ring.
Justin “J-Dirt” Strom, 26, of Lorton, pleaded guilty to a charge of sex trafficking of a child in a plea submitted to U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris.
Strom is a member of the Underground Gangster Crips of Fairfax County, according to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement. In March, he and four other UGC members were arrested and charged in connection with running a prostitution business that solicited high school girls.
Strom's conviction marks the last in this case as the other four members have already pleaded guilty to the sex trafficking of juveniles and will be sentenced in the next few months.
Between April 2009 and March, according to an affidavit by FBI Agent Jeffrey F. Johannes, 10 Virginia high school girls were recruited by UGC leaders. One was a 16-year-old girl who Strom approached at a Metro station, telling her she was pretty and advising that “she could make a lot of money by having sex with men.” She and many of the other girls were required to submit to sex with members of the gang as a “tryout” or an “initiation” before they worked as prostitutes, the affidavit said.
The affidavit detailed acts of violence Strom committed against the girls, including choking and cutting them.
“Justin Strom robbed these girls of their childhood, their innocence, and their trust, and he did that in the most base, vile, and despicable way possible,” Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II said. “Nothing can ever repair the damages Strom inflicted on his victims, but its our hope that today's guilty plea will help them begin a path towards healing and moving forward.”
Strom will be sentenced on Sept. 14. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison for sex trafficking of a child.
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