Sentencing is now complete for the five Minnesotans convicted of running a multi-state sex trafficking ring that prostituted underage girls.
Suwuan Dominique Cross, who pleaded guilty Thursday to trafficking two minors and one adult, will spend the next 111 months – a little more than nine years – in prison, according to a Ramsey County Attorney news release received by BringMeTheNews.
She is the last person sentenced in the case, with the release saying that the time she and the other defendants will serve totals nearly 50 years.
“The successful prosecution of this trafficking ring draws an important line in the sand that we will not tolerate this behavior in our community. Although this provides a measure of justice for victims and serious consequences for their traffickers, we must also recognize that it is not enough, as the demand still persists,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.
One of the people convicted, Thomas Evans, acknowledged moving more than 100 girls – some as young as 16 – across 14 states.
Uncovering a sex ring
The investigation began last fall when an undercover cop posed as a "john" looking for sex with a 17-year-old girl advertised as "Ms. Juicy" on Backpage.com.
After making arrests and beginning their investigation, authorities learned that "Ms. Juicy", later identified as "D.V.W.", was lured from Texas with promises of “a better life” and a car.
But what she and others ended up with was something quite the opposite. Officials say D.V.W. was forced to walk the streets of St. Paul for "customers" in between sex-for-money calls, and that Evans kept the girls in line through physical and verbal intimidation, subduing them with drugs and hitting them on the legs.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to the Friday release.
The operation that took the sex ring down was chronicled on an episode of A&E's "American Takedown" earlier this year. You can watch the video here.