Man sentenced for taking 2 girls to San Diego for prostitution

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — A Long Beach man was sentenced in federal court Monday to nine years in prison for taking two teenage girls, ages 15 and 16, to San Diego to engage in prostitution, prosecutors said.

According to a release Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, one of the girls had been reported missing from Arizona before 26-year-old Deonathan Gaston of Long Beach transported her to Los Angeles and then to San Diego.

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The release said Gaston had known one of the victims since she was 14.

On August 13, 2023, the victims were found by the National City Police Department during a traffic stop. Authorities said they encountered Gaston in an area known for prostitution. At the time, he had no driver’s license and was not allowed to drive the car.

Gaston called someone he referred to as his “girlfriend” to come pick up the car, who turned out to be the missing girl from Arizona, the release said.

The other victim was later found at the hotel where they were staying at and the case was turned over to the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, according to authorities.

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