If you’ve heard of any two gangs in the U.S., it’s probably the Bloods and their famous rivals, the Crips. (Sorry, the Sharks and the Jets aren’t really gangs.) The Bloods have earned a reputation for a lot of the same sorts of criminal activities other gangs engage in — vandalism, fighting with other gangs, buying and selling drugs, etc. But they recently branched out to earn some extra cash by forcing teen girls into prostitution. And they just got busted.
Several Bloods members have been arrested for running multiple sex trafficking rings of junior high and high school girls. The girls, who were as young as 15, were each given a quota of $500 a day to earn by selling sex acts. If they failed to meet that quota, they were beaten and denied food. Sitting down to rest on a curb, looking another pimp in the eye, and refusing to have sex also earned beatings. One of the ringleaders kept the girls locked in his house, only permitting them to leave to earn money.
Unsurprisingly, the girls were advertised on the Internet in and around the Brooklyn, New York, and New Jersey area — primarily on Craigslist, Backpage.com, and other adult services websites. When they were ordered by a buyer, they were accompanied by a Bloods member or female associate to ensure their compliance. Also unsurprisingly, the girls were recruited not from foreign countries, but from local schools in the area. The use of American girls by gangs is becoming an increasingly common pattern, as its cheaper and safer than importing girls from overseas.
The Bloods are by no means the first gang to decide to make some extra cash by trafficking young girls for sex. MS-13 has been in the sex trafficking game for awhile now. Even terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda are getting in on the action. And all of them are recruiting and selling girls for one reason: money. They can make more money selling 15-year-old girls for sex than they can selling drugs or firearms or doing just about anything else.
And until the market for sex with teen girls dries up, some other gang will be happy to take this one’s place.
Photo credit: Open Box