Las Vegas man accused of forcing teen into prostitution
A Las Vegas man is in jail after authorities said he forced a teenage girl into prostitution. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A Las Vegas man is in jail after authorities said he forced a teenage girl into prostitution.
And police said this isn't his first offense. Deon Crawford has already been arrested for using the internet to proposition a young boy for sex.
In this particular case, Metro police discovered the suspect was keeping his young victim in the northwest Vally home he shared with his own wife and children, all while selling the young girl on the Internet.
Crawford, who police say goes by the nicknames "Fella" and "Big Money," is now in the big house, sentenced to a maximum of 12 years in prison for prostituting a 16-year-old girl.
Action News talked with the undercover detective who cracked the case. Due to the nature of his job, his identity can not be revealed.
"It's something we deal with every day, and some people aren't even aware it's going on," the detective said.
Under the 'Innocence Lost' project, Metro works with the FBI to uncover sex crimes that victimize children.
"That's what these pimps do is manipulate them and scare them into not cooperating with authorities," the detective said.
It was two Metro patrol officers who were able to convince Crawford's young victim to finally speak up. Those officers were called to the Greyhound Bus Station downtown after getting a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, that the girl was there. Sure enough, officer Mike Wagner spotted her.
"As we're speaking with her, she's very nervous," he said. "She doesn't want to tell us her name."
But the officers earned her trust and she gradually revealed the abuse police say she suffered under Deon Crawford.
Investigators said he advertised himself and the teenager on Backpage.com, a website for illicit activity.
"With everything she had been through, especially with a man who was very overpowering and ran her life essentially, we were able to let her know that she was safe," Officer Wagner said.
It's all part of an ongoing mission to help one young victim at a time.
"We're doing the very best we can to dig deeper and look into these cases," Officer Wagner said. "These guys can't get away with it."