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Press Release

Office of Attorney General Shapiro Secures 37 to 74 Year Sentence for Philadelphia Human Trafficker

May 4, 2017 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office secured a 37 to 74 year prison sentence for a Philadelphia man on human trafficking charges for his role operating a prostitution ring that exploited underage girls and young women and advertised on Craigslist. On May 4th, 2017 John “G” Guerra was convicted of all charges after a bench trial.

John “G” Guerra was sentenced today by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Sean F. Kennedy on charges including human trafficking, simple assault, sexual exploitation of children, prostitution and related offenses.

The case involving Guerra and other defendants arose after the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Organized Crime Eastern Task Force Unit initiated an investigation into a human trafficking organization.

“This is a case of sexual exploitation of vulnerable young women, and this defendant got what he justly deserved – a lengthy prison sentence,” Attorney General Shapiro said today, after sentencing. “Guerra and his co-defendants exploited young women for profit and exposed them to terrible harm and physical risk. I’m committed to making human trafficking a top priority and going after those like, Guerra, who exploit others. We will put real resources behind this effort and be unrelenting in our pursuit of these criminals.”

The case was submitted to a statewide investigating grand jury, which issued a presentment recommending charges. The investigation showed that from 2008 through 2010 this organization trafficked the victims by promoting acts of prostitution. The organization used Craigslist and Backpage to advertise under the “erotic section.”

The victims, including one girl under the age of 18, were provided with laptop computers, credit card numbers, digital cameras and cell phones as tools to facilitate the prostitution. The leaders of this trafficking organization (including Guerra) lured young, homeless girls to work for the organization with either cash payments or illegal drugs. The victims were controlled by the defendants through the use of intimidation, illegal drugs and physical violence.

John Guerra was charged in 2010, but was a fugitive until being apprehended by troopers from PSP’s Organized Crime Unit in 2014. Guerra has been incarcerated since the time of his arrest.

Guerra’s three co-defendants (Elton “Marvin” Cromwell; Edinelson “Eddie” Mendez; Jr.,[1][1] and Duane Roger Thomas) all entered guilty pleas earlier and have previously been sentenced.

Attorney General Shapiro praised the work of the Pennsylvania State Police, the investigative grand jury, and Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather Castellano and Deputy Attorney General Michelle Laucella, who prosecuted Guerra.

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