GREENBELT, Md. (Jan. 12, 2017)—U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Michael Andrew Davila, age 27, of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, today to 175 months in prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release, for transportation of a minor for prostitution. Judge Hazel also ordered that upon his release from prison, Michael Davila must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George's County Police Department.
"Michael Andrew Davila will be locked in a federal cell until the year 2030 for exploiting a vulnerable child," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "Time and again, we see that tragedy awaits some children who use the internet without parental supervision."
According to his plea agreement, in early January 2015, Michael Davila recruited a 15 year old female through Instagram to engage in prostitution. Later in January, the victim turned 16 years old. Between January and March 2015, Davila arranged for the victim to engage in acts of prostitution, advertised the victim online for sexual services in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, using a false name and age for the victim, and transported or arranged for transportation of the victim throughout Maryland, DC. and Virginia to engage in commercial sex acts. Davila kept a portion of the proceeds earned by the victim for engaging in commercial sex acts.
Davila and co-defendant Elsie Pazmino answered text messages and calls from clients seeking to engage in sexual acts with the victim and arranged "dates" for the victim with those clients. Davila educated the victim on how to arrange dates with customers for sexual services and set the prices that the victim would charge for such services. On at least one occasion in January 2015, Pazmino admitted that she answered a telephone call from a potential customer in front of the victim, so that the victim could learn how to talk to potential customers and set up dates. According to their plea agreements, Davila and Pazmino arranged and paid for hotel rooms in which the victim engaged in prostitution.
Davila and co-defendant John Hamlett transported the victim, and other females Davila was prostituting, to locations within and outside Maryland to engage in prostitution. Davila paid Hamlett $50 to $100 per night of driving females working for Davila, including the victim.
During the time that the victim engaged in acts of prostitution, Davila provided her with a cellular phone to communicate with Davila and potential customers. Law enforcement's review of the contents of the victim's cellular phone revealed numerous text messages between Davila and the victim regarding proceeds earned by the victim from prostitution, locations where she was engaging in acts of prostitution, and the posting of ads online to advertise the victim for prostitution. Davila communicated with the victim through the use of cellular phone chat applications KIK and Pinger.
Davila was arrested on April 20, 2015, on federal charges relating to the sex trafficking of a minor, at a motel in Laurel, Maryland, where he was staying with his mother, Maria Davila. Maria Davila admitted that after Michael Davila's arrest, she accessed and erased the contents of the KIK account, which he had used to communicate with the victim. According to their plea agreements, Maria Davila also repeatedly tried to access and delete Michael Davila's Pinger account, which he had also used to communicate with the victim while he was prostituting her. During several recorded calls on April 21, 2015, while Michael Davila was in pretrial detention in Baltimore, Maryland, Michael and Maria Davila discussed the need to erase the KIK and Pinger accounts and Maria Davila's efforts to delete the accounts. Michael Davila provided multiple passwords for Maria Davila to try to access his Pinger account so that it could be erased. Davila also sent a letter to Maria Davila, which stated in part, "Please keep tryna log into the Kik and Pinger" and then listed multiple passwords, many of which were the same as the passwords that Davila provided to his mother over the phone.
Judge Hazel sentenced co-defendant Elsie Liseth Pazmino, age 29, also of Berwyn Heights, today to time served, followed by six months of home detention as part of three years of supervised release, for using the telephone and internet to facilitate the prostitution of the minor. John David Hamlett, age 33, of Laurel, Maryland, was previously sentenced to 30 months in prison. Maria Elena Davila, age 51, of Germantown, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit evidence tampering in connection with the case and was sentenced to two years in prison.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit ww.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat child prostitution, with members from10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Task Force coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing children being advertised online for prostitution.
MCETF partners with the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, formed in 2007 to discover and rescue victims of human trafficking while identifying and prosecuting offenders. Members include federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as victim service providers and local community members. For more information about the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, please visit www.justice.gov/usao/md/priorities_human.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Prince George's County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Anne Arundel County Police Department for its assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristi N. O'Malley and Nicolas A. Mitchell, who prosecuted the case.