- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ARVADA, Colo. (AP) - A suburban Denver man is accused of luring teenage girls into lives of prostitution with the promise of free methamphetamine.

Prosecutors announced Wednesday that 35-year-old Joe Avalos has been charged with 17 counts of crimes including kidnapping, pandering of a child, pimping and sexual assault.

They say he operated a sex trafficking ring out of his Arvada home involving five female victims between the ages of 15 and 20. Avalos allegedly advertised the women and drove them to hotels in several metro Denver communities.

One of the victims, a 16-year-old girl, fled to Avalos while on the run from another accused sex-trafficker, Robert Gonzales, who was arrested and charged with similar crimes in October.

Avalos was being held in jail and no lawyers were listed for him in court records.

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