'These pimps are ruining these kids’ lives'
Jelinajane Bedrijo Almario, 18, of Hanford, CA was tried as an adult on felony charges of human trafficking of a victim under 18-years-old, sending threatening letters with intent to extort and participation in a street gang.
Hanford police Detective Richard Pontecorvo said the child prostitution ring involved four victims, girls between the ages of 14-and-15-years-old, the Fresno Bee reported.
“These people are great at locating kids with low self-esteem and trying to be their friend, and then it obviously changes once they started working for her,” Detective Pontecorvo explained. “We were able to get these girls back home and get them the help they needed, but these pimps are ruining these kids’ lives at an early age.”
Almario allegedly posted pictures of the younger girls online, then took the victims to motels along Highway 99 south of Fresno.
When one of the victim’s mother tried to rescue her daughter, Almario allegedly threatened her via text message.
“It was a huge eye-opener for us,” Detective Pontecorvo admitted. “But we caught her case very early, so we were able to pull those girls out of that.”