State prison terms ranging from five to 12 years were handed down Wednesday for a man and two women who put a 15-year-old runaway to work as a prostitute in Riverside.
Ramon Avina Chavez, 21, Gabriella Ann Alvarado, 19, and Alicia Monet Thao, 22, pleaded guilty last month to human trafficking of a minor. Chavez additionally admitted a charge of carrying a loaded concealed firearm in a vehicle and was sentenced to 12 years behind bars while the women were given five-year terms.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Gunn also ordered that each defendant register as a convicted sex offender as a condition of his or her parole.
The trio were arrested last Dec. 5 following an investigation by the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. John Sawyer, the victim, a Fresno girl whose name was withheld, was reported missing in early November, prompting a statewide search that involved investigators from multiple jurisdictions.
Sawyer said detectives uncovered “numerous” online classified advertisements featuring the girl, offering sexual services. An undercover law enforcement officer contacted the number listed in the ads, and an appointment was arranged with the youth, according to the sergeant.
Investigators went to the Riverside Inn & Suites on Magnolia Avenue, where the girl was found and taken into protective custody. Alvarado, Chavez and Thao were also located there and arrested without a struggle.
The teenager had met the trio in Fresno, where all the defendants resided, but the circumstances were unclear, and authorities did not say why they ended up in Riverside.
None of the defendants have documented prior felony convictions.