Man gets 30 years for sex trafficking underage girls in Myrtle Beach; wife, mom sent to prison, too

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking three underaged girls to Myrtle Beach.

Zerrell Ross Fuentes, 24, of Charlotte, also will serve a lifetime under court supervision after he is released from prison. His wife and mother were previously sentenced to prison in connection with the case.

According to Friday’s sentencing hearing, Fuentes, his wife, Brianna Wright, and his mother, Tanya Marie Fuentes, engaged in the sex trafficking of three minor victims between April 28, 2016 and May 8, 2016.

Fuentes devised a scheme to involve three underage girls in prostitution so that they could earn money for his bond while he was in jail.  His wife would transport the minor victims from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts while they were in Myrtle Beach.

According to court records, Wright, accompanied by Fuentes’ mother, Tanya Fuentes, drove the three minors from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach. While in Myrtle Beach, Tanya Fuentes paid for lodging. Brianna Wright drove the minors to meet clients for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts for money, and her phone was used to post prostitution advertisements for the minor victims on the Internet.  While in Myrtle Beach, at least two minor victims committed sexual acts.

“Zerrell Fuentes, his wife, and his mother ran a depraved family business engaged in the sex trafficking of young girls for profit,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “Children are not commodities to be advertised and traded for the financial benefit of wicked adults. The protection of helpless and impressionable minors should be an adult’s priority. Anyone who violates the trust of children for their financial gain deserves to spend three decades behind bars, if not longer, where they can no longer destroy young lives.”

Zerrell Fuentes is currently in federal custody. He will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

On August 26, 2019, Wright was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Tanya Fuentes was ordered to serve 24 months in prison, for their involvement in the case.

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