Miami, Florida – Four defendants were sentenced in connection with their roles in trafficking a 13-year-old minor victim through the use of online advertisements. The sentences ranged from 16 to 10 years of imprisonment, 15 to 10 years of supervised release, plus restitution and a life-time of registration as a sexual offender.
From approximately May 29, 2019, to June 4, 2019, Jeremiah Horenstein, 24, Racquel Lavette Bijou, 22, and Ashton Gary Lewinson, 26, took the minor victim to engage in at least 100 commercial sex acts at hotels and private residences throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. On June 5, 2019, Bijou recruited the minor victim to work for Souprina Blanc, 29, who further posted online advertisements for minor victim to engage in commercial sex acts.
Each defendant previously pled guilty to sex trafficking of a minor. U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal, who sits in Ft. Lauderdale, imposed the sentences.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami; and Alfredo Ramirez III, Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), announced the sentences.
FBI Miami, in particular FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, in partnership with MDPD’s Human Trafficking Squad, and the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force, investigated the case. FBI Omaha, Nebraska, assisted. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Cervantes prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daren Grove is handling asset forfeiture matters.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Divisions Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
To report suspected human trafficking or to obtain resources for victims, please call 1-888-373-7888; text “BeFree” (233733), or live chat at HumanTraffickingHotline.org. The toll-free phone, SMS text lines, and online chat function are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Help is available in English, Spanish, Creole, or in more than 200 additional languages. The National Hotline is not managed by law enforcement, immigration or an investigative agency. Correspondence with the National Hotline is confidential and you may request assistance or report a tip anonymously.
To learn more about the National Resource Hotline visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking visit www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 19-cr-20535.