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United States of America v. Keenon Green
Case Number: 22-cr-187
Judge: Cathy Ann Bencivengo
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of California (San Diego County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego
Description: San Diego, California criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with attempted sex trafficking of children and attempted enticement of a minor.
The evidence presented at trial, which included social media evidence, cell phone evidence, body-worn camera surveillance, and witness testimony, Keenon Green, age 35, relentlessly sent direct messages to a social media user he knew as “Lexi” on Instagram, attempting to recruit her into prostitution despite responses from Lexi stating that she was in high school, that she was delayed responding to his messages because she was doing her biology homework, and then explicitly telling Green that she was 16 years old. Green continued to try to recruit Lexi to provide commercial sex services, advising her that he could provide protection on “the blade,” a dangerous destination for commercial sex activity that Green referred to as a “hoe stroll,” and that she would have to “only work the blade for a week max.” After that, Green’s messages indicated that he would provide her with false identification, post her advertisements on commercial sex websites, and then she could “charge 350 a hour and only be in there 30 mins max.” Because he believed her to be only 16 years old, he also offered to teach her how to drive. In exchange for his protection as a pimp, Lexi would be expected to earn $500 a night as a prostitute, and $1000 a night if they were out of town.
Ultimately, after working to recruit online Lexi for almost a month, Green arranged to meet her in person and bring her to Orange County, where business was “hella good.” Green told Lexi to bring “provocative stuff” and “heels” for the trip. The evidence presented showed that Green planned to have Lexi engage in commercial sex dates until she earned $1,000 for him before returning her to San Diego on Monday to attend high school. Unfortunately for Green, “Lexi” was an undercover deputy with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. When Green arrived at the meeting point with feminine care items in his trunk, including hair products and Vagisil, he was greeted by law enforcement instead.
Post-arrest, Green acknowledged that he was “chasing money” and that as a pimp, he “ran” seven to nine other women. The evidence presented at trial reflected that Green’s recruitment and enticement efforts extended beyond “Lexi”; he reached out to other Instagram users simultaneously, describing what he could offer as a pimp and telling them their “anatomy is the most valuable thing on this earth” and he could help them “use it wisely.”
“Trafficking children for commercial sex is a scourge on our community,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “This case demonstrates that proactive law enforcement efforts can stop these crimes before they happen, as well as holding offenders accountable. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working with law enforcement partners to prevent trafficking and deliver justice for victims.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team, the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for their excellent work on this case.
“Human trafficking is a highly predatory crime and can be violent. Offenders prey upon youth and the most vulnerable in our community. The Sheriff's Department will continue to work with our local, state, federal and tribal partners to rescue and protect victims of this terrible crime."
“This conviction closes the door on this human trafficker responsible for wreaking havoc on the lives of young women,” said Chad Plantz, special agent in charge, HSI San Diego. “Unfortunately, we know there are still traffickers out there looking to exploit the most vulnerable among us. Cases like this one serve to strengthen our resolve to protect and defend the victims.”
Attempted Sex Trafficking of Children – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1591(a)
Minimum Penalty: 10 years
Maximum penalty: Life Imprisonment and $250,000 fine
Attempted Enticement of a Minor – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2422(b)
Minimum Penalty: 10 years
Maximum Penalty: Life Imprisonment and $250,000 fine