A sex trafficking ring that lured underage girls into prostitution and also dealt cocaine and methamphetamine was allegedly broken up in Colorado, according to Attorney General John Suthers.
Four so-called ringleaders were charged with arranging customers over the Internet for the female victims who were plied with drugs and threatened with violence by the pimps, Suthers said on Monday.
The sweeping raid also snared nine underlings for crimes like transporting the women to their rendezvouses and destroying evidence, according to the attorney general. Johns met the girls for sex in places like Denver, Grand Junction and Boulder.
Patrick Lloyd McGowan, 22, Chad Armand Gow, 20, Roy Manuel Ibarra-Gonzalez and Bryan Steven Burns, 21 -- the alleged masterminds -- pimped out five minors, according to The Denver Post. They placed their sex ads on the controversial website Backpage.com, owned by Village Voice Media, according to The Post.
A couple from Wheat Ridge that reported their daughter had run away led investigators to the sex ring, according to ABC Channel 7 in Denver.
The quartet faces up to 24 years in prison if they're convicted of trafficking a minor, according to KRDO.
One john was charged with patronizing the sex ring, The Post says. The indictment listed 70 charges against the 14 suspects.
All the known incidents took place over the last 12 months. Two suspects were still at large Monday night, according to KJCT,