- Associated Press - Friday, June 1, 2012

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.

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