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Posted at 06:24 PM ET, 06/26/2012

Crips leader pleads guilty to role in underage prostitution ring

The leader of a Crips-affiliated gang pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to recruiting local high school girls into a prostitution ring that authorities said kept the teens working through threats and violence.

Justin Strom, 26, of Lorton, faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced in September.

Strom is the fifth member or associate of the Underground Gangster Crips to enter a guilty plea in the case, which federal authorities said was unusual because the gang skillfully used Facebook and other social media to lure girls, including some from stable homes.

“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,” said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Strom pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a child and admitted to recruiting at least eight underage girls into the gang’s ring between 2006 and 2012, according to federal officials.

Strom is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14.

By  |  06:24 PM ET, 06/26/2012

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