A 34-year-old Long Beach man was sentenced to 28 years in state prison yesterday after he was convicted of human trafficking and pimping an underage girl, as well as pimping and pandering two women, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Marcus Ramon Santos pleaded guilty Monday to one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor, pimping a minor under 16 years old, pandering a minor under 16 years old, human trafficking and two counts each of pimping and pandering.
He also pleaded to a sentencing enhancement of having a prior prison conviction for aggravated assault in Orange County in 2011.
In addition to being sentenced to 28 years in state prison, Santos was also ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender.
Officials said that between July 1, 2013 and July 8, 2015, Santos used social media to connect with one of the women, known as Jane Doe 2, and convinced her to engage in prostitution for his benefit. Between October 1, 2014 and March 1, 2015, Santos met the second woman, known as Jane Doe 3, and convinced her to leave Las Vegas with him and go to places known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County.
Santos reportedly showed Jane Doe 3 “how to post sexually explicit photos on websites known for prostitution and to set up meetings with potential sex purchasers,” according to a release from OCDA. “Santos imposed a strict daily quota of $1,200, and took all of the money Jane Doe 3 received from engaging in commercial sex to pay off his debt.”
If Jane Doe did not follow his instructions, Santos would become physically violent with her, officials added.
Between June 28, 2015 and July 8, 2015, Santos trafficked 15-year-old Jane Doe 1 by driving her to Orange County to prostitute for his benefit. When he attempted to convince Jane Doe 3 to instruct the teen about how to engage in commercial sex, she refused, according to officials.
Santos continued to pimp Jane Doe 1 and 2 and required them to give him all the money they received from sex purchasers.
The crimes were reported in July 2015 to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and on July 8, 2015, members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force located Jane Doe 1 and 2 at a motel in Costa Mesa where their room was reserved under Santos’ name, officials stated.
After an investigation by OCHTTF, authorities located and arrested Santos on September 17, 2015.
“With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims,” officials stated. “Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. The victims are often required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical and/or emotional abuse.”
This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and community and non-profit partners.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kelly Manley as part of OCDA’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit.