PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Cristian Garcia, 21, of Providence, was sentenced today to two years in federal prison for sex trafficking two young teenagers, the culmination of a combined investigative effort of Homeland Security Investigations and the Warwick and Seekonk Police Departments.
The sentencing was announced today by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for New England, Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney and Seekonk, Mass., Police Chief Craig A. Mace.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., also ordered Garcia to serve 5 years supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Garcia pleaded guilty on May 13, 2016, to one count of conspiracy to sex trafficking children and one count of sex trafficking children.
A co-defendant in this matter, Mackenzy Scott, 20, of Providence, pleaded guilty on September 20, 2016, to conspiracy to sex trafficking children. He is scheduled to be sentenced onDecember 14, 2016.
According to court records and information presented to the court, beginning in December 2014, Garcia and Scott conspired together to take provocative photographs of a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl, and post the photographs in advertisements on Backpage.com, offering the young teenagers for sex. Numerous individuals responded to the ads. Garcia and Scott either drove or arranged for the teenagers to be driven to various locations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to engage in sex acts in exchange for cash.
Scott, arrested on April 8, 2015, and Garcia, arrested on March 14, 2016, have been detained since their arrests.
The matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, and the Warwick and Seekonk Police Departments.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.