Kent County

Man pleads guilty to sex trafficking teen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan man has admitted to his role in trafficking a 16-year-old for sex.

In a plea agreement filed in federal court Jan. 11, Francisco Miguel Soto agreed to plead guilty to sex trafficking of a minor.

Federal authorities say that starting in May 2017, Soto and another man, Richardo Urbina, arranged for a 16-year-old to meet up with men for sex. They used the now-defunct Backpage.com and another app that allowed them to use fake phone numbers when setting up about 20 meetings.

Urbina was charged in March 2018 with three counts of sex trafficking minors and three counts of distributing narcotics. Authorities said he was involved in the prostitution of three girls, ages 15 and 16, in Kent and Muskegon counties.

Soto's deal referenced only one teen victim, and says Urbina gave the teen cocaine.

As part of his deal, Soto agreed to cooperate with law enforcement in their investigations of other crimes.

Soto, 20, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, but federal prosecutors say they may recommend a reduced sentence if he cooperates fully.


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