ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators said a 14-year-old is at the center of a sex-trafficking case that involves several members of a gang known as the “Blood” gang.
At least three people tied to the alleged gang have been charged with sex trafficking.
Investigators say they solicited the girl for sex along Orange Blossom Trail after she ran away from home.
Agents said the victim went to a woman named Ashley Barnett, who she described as a “second mom”, for help after she ran away, and the woman sold her to the gang.
Agents said her pimp, Xavier Villanueva, shuffled the 14-year-old between two houses, where the girl was forced to take inappropriate pictures and have sex.
Villanueva’s neighbors said they had no idea what was going on until federal agents raided the house last year.
“He has been good to me, we have been friends, and I have no feelings about him personally, but if he is doing that this is totally unacceptable,” Armando Diaz said.
Villanueva is also accused of forcing her to have sex in motels and in cars along Orange Blossom Trail.
Records stated the girl was given drugs, raped and sold on the streets.
One man reportedly had sex with the girl for $20.00.
"It evolves through manipulation, through intimidation, and even through entrapment as we have seen here,” Carrie Proudfit with the Department of Children and Families said.
Federal records show the sex trafficking ring was shut down after the girl eventually found a way to escape and go to authorities.
Other gangs members accused of being involved in the sex trafficking ring were charged this week.
DCF officials said the victim is doing much better and getting the help she needs.