Rances Ulices Amaya, 24, aka “Murder” and “Blue,” was sentenced today to 50 years in prison for recruiting girls as young as 14 from middle schools, high schools, and homeless shelters in Northern Virginia and forcing them to engage in commercial sex acts on behalf of MS-13.
MS-13 (aka Mara Salvatrucha) is a transnational gang principally composed of individuals of Salvadoran descent that originated in Los Angeles and eventually spread throughout the U.S. and Central America. Members of the gang distinguish themselves by tattoos covering their bodies and face.
On Feb. 23, 2012, a jury convicted Amaya of conspiracy and three counts of sex trafficking of a child. Amaya reportedly joined MS-13 when he was a teenager and later became a “shot caller” for his MS-13 clique, the Guanacos Lokotes Salvatruchas. MS-13 gave him the gang monikers “Murder” and “Blue,” and he bears multiple MS-13 tattoos on his hands and arms.
In 2009, Amaya joined forces with an MS-13 associate who was already prostituting underage girls and used his MS-13 contacts to find sex customers, offering free sex with the victims and a cut of the profits for any gang member who provided customers or underage girls.
Victims were required to have sex with 8-10 paying customers per day, sometimes seven days per week. Some of the customers were sex addicts and repeat customers who paid daily for the sex. At night, after the paying customers were finished, Amaya would invite his fellow MS-13 members to have sex with the girls.
Besides raping them, to keep the victims compliant, Amaya would provide them with cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. The evidence showed that Amaya prostituted five victims who were between the ages of 14 and 17 years old. In addition, there was always an implicit threat of violence insofar as the victims knew that Amaya was MS-13 and he frequently carried a machete with him, MS-13’s weapon of choice.
Amaya charged between $30 and $120 for about 20 minutes of sex with the victims. Customers were required to pay more for “unusual” sex acts. The proceeds of the prostitution were used to purchase narcotics, alcoholic beverages, and to support MS-13 in the United States and El Salvador.
Amaya is the fourth MS-13 member to be convicted of sex trafficking children in the Eastern District of Virginia.
MS-13 have been involved drug and human trafficking robbery, extortion, illegal immigration, murder, kidnapping, arms trafficking, and various other criminal acts.