San Diego, California - Jonathan Devon Price, aka “Lil’ Ty,” a North Park street gang member previously convicted of Racketeering Conspiracy, was sentenced in federal court Monday by Senior U.S. District Court Judge John A. Houston to 142 months in prison for committing the new crime of sex trafficking of children, and 24 months in prison for violating the conditions of supervised release in his racketeering case.
In December 2013, Price was charged with racketeering conspiracy, known as RICO, involving sex trafficking in San Diego and elsewhere. In October 2015, Price pleaded guilty to RICO by admitting his active role in the conspiracy that involved transporting adult females in San Diego and elsewhere for the purposes of prostitution. Price was later sentenced by Judge Houston to more than two years in prison and three years of supervised release.
Between 2016 and 2019, Price violated his supervised release on multiple occasions and was returned to prison. He was released from prison on his last violation on August 30, 2019.
While on federal supervision, Price was arrested on November 26, 2019 for once again engaging in sex trafficking. He was first transferred to state court for a matter involving the battery of one of his trafficking victims. After his battery conviction in state court in January 2020, he was transferred to federal court and arraigned on sex trafficking charges in February 2020. Price was ordered detained and has been in custody since his arrest in November 2019.
On October 13, 2020, Price appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael S. Berg and entered a guilty plea to the charge of sex trafficking of children. In his plea, Price admitted that in November 2019, he knowingly transported, provided, maintained, and obtained a 17-year-old minor female for the purpose of her engaging in commercial sex acts in San Diego County. Price also admitted he caused online ads to be posted offering the minor female for commercial sex. In addition, Price admitted that between about June 2018 and November 2019, he knowingly transported, provided, maintained, and obtained an adult female for the purpose of her engaging in commercial sex acts. During this time, Price used fraud, force, and coercion against the adult female in order to cause her to engage in commercial sex acts.
As part of his plea agreement, Price admitted that by committing the crime of sex trafficking of children in November 2019 he violated his supervised release conditions pending in his RICO case. For violating his supervised release, Price was sentenced to 24 months in prison, with 12 months to run consecutive and 12 months to run concurrent to the new prison sentence of 142 months for sex trafficking of children.
“Exploiting girls and women through sex trafficking is a despicable crime that has a long-lasting and devastating impact on the victims’ lives and futures,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. “Our office will continue to work with law enforcement partners to end the abuse and ensure traffickers are held accountable for the damage they cause.” Grossman praised prosecutor Joseph Orabona and members of the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force for their excellent work on this case.
“Today, the defendant was sentenced for his crimes of sexual exploitation of multiple victims to include a minor,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “The FBI is proud to work alongside our partners on the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force to pursue cases such as these. I hope today’s proceedings bring a sense of justice to the victims as they move forward in their lives.”
DEFENDANT Case Numbers: 20CR0852-JAH, 13CR4510-JAH
Jonathan Devon Price, aka Lil’ Ty Age: 30 San Diego, CA
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Sex Trafficking of a Minor, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1591
Maximum Penalties: Ten-year mandatory minimum and a maximum of life in prison; mandatory Sex Offender Registration; a maximum term of supervised release of life; mandatory restitution to the victims.
San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, which consists of:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- California Department of Justice
- California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation – Parole
- California Highway Patrol
- ICE/Homeland Security Investigations
- National City Police Department
- San Diego City Attorney’s Office
- San Diego County District Attorney’s Office
- San Diego County Probation Department
- San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
- San Diego Police Department
- The United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California