Justin Strom, aka "Jae," "Jae Dee," or "J-Dirt," 26, of Lorton pled guilty Tuesday, June 26, to recruiting at least eight juvenile girls to engage in commercial sex for his street gang’s prostitution business.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, Attorney General of Virginia; Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police; and Ronald T. Hosko, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge James C. Cacheris.
"For six years, Justin Strom profited from preying on teenage girls and others he recruited as prostitutes in a commercial sex ring," said MacBride. "Strom is the fifth and final Underground Gangster Crips gang member to plead guilty to sex trafficking a juvenile – a very serious crime that carries a potential life sentence."
Strom pled guilty to sex trafficking of a child, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and maximum penalty of life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14, 2012.
"This gang-driven prostitution ring was a direct threat to the safety and welfare of young women," said Rohrer. "With the help of our federal partners, we will continue to work aggressively and consistently to rid Fairfax County of gang violence and criminal operations wherever and whenever we find it."
According to Hosko, the agent in charge of the investigation, Strom was the fifth member of the Underground Gangster Crips who pleaded guilty to "strong-arming and pimping underage girls in the illegal sex trade.
"These gang members admitted that they beat and intimidated young girls they met on the Internet or in Metro stops in our area. They preyed on some of the most vulnerable in our society and today, Justin Strom admitted to these crimes," Hosko said.
According to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement and other court records, Strom is a member of the Underground Gangster Crips (UGC) set based in Fairfax County.
From 2006 through March 2012, Strom misrepresented his identity online to recruit females – including juveniles – through online social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Datehookupand, enticing the girls to earn money through prostitution. He and others posted numbers advertisements on Backpage, Craigslist, and other websites to solicit customers to pay to have sex with juvenile and adult prostitutes.
Officials said Strom admitted that he knowingly enticed at least eight juvenile girls to engage in prostitution for his business and that he received proceeds from this illicit conduct for approximately six years.
On March 28, 2012, Strom was among five members and associates of the UGC set based in Fairfax County charged with running a prostitution business that recruited and trafficked high school girls. Four previously pled guilty, and Strom’s guilty plea today marks the fifth and final conviction in this case.
On May 14, 2012, Henock Ghile, aka "Knots," 23, of Springfield, Va., pled guilty to sex trafficking of a juvenile. In court, Ghile admitted that he was a UGC gang associate and that from May 2011 through September 2011 he transported two 17-year-old girls to work as prostitutes. Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 3, 2012, before United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton.
On April 14, 2012, two others associated with the UGC prostitution operation – Michael Tavon Jefferies, aka "Loc," 21, of Woodbridge, Va., and Christopher Sylvia, 23, of Springfield, Va. – pled guilty to sex trafficking of a juvenile. Jefferies is scheduled to be sentenced on July 6, 2012, before United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Sylvia is scheduled for sentencing on July 20, 2012, before United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.
This case was investigated by the Fairfax County Police Department and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with assistance from the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.