SAN DIEGO (CN) - A 20-year-old San Diegan was sentenced Monday to 12 years in federal prison for pimping out girls for prostitution.
Carlos Alberto Garcia "made thousands of dollars pimping out underage girls using Internet ads," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing his sentencing. He pleaded guilty in August 2012.
One of his victims, 17, who called Garcia "ruthless" and "crazy," said he "physically assaulted her for hiding $300."
"Garcia beat her, stripped her, forced her into a cold shower, poured ice on her, and made her stand in front of an air conditioner. He then he took her to the Fashion Valley shopping mall and, using the money she'd earned from prostitution, bought himself $685 sneakers at the Gucci store," according to the U.S. attorney.
The U.S. attorney's statement called human trafficking "the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today ... second only to drug trafficking on the list of the biggest and most lucrative illicit enterprises."
The Southern District of California, which includes San Diego and Imperial counties, has seen a 600 percent in human trafficking cases in the past 5 years, many involving sex trafficking of children, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Criminals are using Facebook and Twitter to find victims, and street gangs also prey upon girls, prosecutors said. Thirty-eight members of three Oceanside gangs and an LLC recently were charged with using violence in sex trafficking. Thirty-five pleaded guilty and one was killed in a gang shooting.
Garcia has been in jail since he was arrested in June last year.
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