On November 1, 2018, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania secured a ten-year sentence against Keanu Davone Martinez for one count of transporting a minor to engage in prostitution. Martinez had pled guilty on December 5, 2017.
The Department of Justice’s press release reveals that, between July 2012 and January 2015, Martinez and his co-conspirators recruited and transported the victims – all between the ages of 13 and 18 – to engage in commercial sex acts in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia. Martinez rented hotel rooms and posted advertisements on backpage.com, a website formerly used in furtherance of exploiting trafficking victims. Martinez also administered drugs to the victims, including oxycodone, cocaine, hydrochloride, and heroin.
Martinez’s sentence marks another victory in a large-scale human trafficking ring involving four other men that spanned across six states. The government previously secured convictions and guilty pleas against Albert E. “Pipo” Martinez, 37, Anthony “Tony” D’Ambrosio, 36, Brandon Hill, 30, andArmando Delgado, 22. Albert E. “Pipo” Martinez, father to Keanu Davone Martinez, pled guilty to charges including sex trafficking of a minor, transportation of an individual to engage in prostitution, and transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity. He was sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment. Hill pled guilty to a drug trafficking offense and received a 37-month imprisonment sentence. On December 18, 2017, D’Ambrosio and Delgado were convicted after a two week long jury trial in federal court in Harrisburg of sex trafficking of children, conspiracy to transport any individual to engage in prostitution, transportation of any individual to engage in prostitution, conspiracy to transport a minor to engage in prostitution, conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute oxycodone, cocaine and marijuana, and distribution and possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone. Both defendants are awaiting sentencing.
This case was brought as a part of “Project Safe Childhood,” which is a growing initiative by the Department of Justice to combat child commercial sexual exploitation. Launched in May of 2006, Project Safe Childhood unites federal, state, and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. Project Safe Childhood is an effective solution for comprehensive coordination of law enforcement to respond to the threat of sexual predators for technology-facilitated crimes. The CSE Institute is encouraged by the collaborative efforts of agency resources.
The CSE Institute previously reported on this story following the sentencing of Albert E. “Pipo” Martinez. The CSE Institute applauds the efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania,the Chambersburg Police Department, the Franklin County Drug Task Force, and the Harrisburg Bureau of Police. Finally, we commend the courage of these young victims to face their perpetrators and ensure that those accountable are brought to justice.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.