Florida

He went from sex customer to pimp of a 16-year-old girl. A phone call ended that

Marco Orrego
Marco Orrego

Marco Orrego met a 16-year-old girl at a South Florida home as her customer for sex in April.

In three weeks, Orrego had the teen selling sex for him at a two-star motel, pimping her out as she ate a bag of chips for breakfast.

And his phone had a video showing her performing oral sex on him.

That’s just some of what the 31-year-old Orrego admitted to in pleading guilty to sex trafficking of a minor and production of child pornography, a plea that got him sentenced to 20 years in federal prison last week.

Boynton Beach police, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, reeled in Orrego after the teenage girl — who is referred to in court documents as “C.R.” — got away from Orrego when she got sick. Feeling ill on May 6, she went to a pediatrician’s office where a friend worked. The friend phoned C.R.’s father, who phoned Boynton Beach police.

Officers picked her up at the Homing Inn as she texted Orrego that she was sick and “I can’t be [having sex] all the time, that’s what it is.”

Orrego put her on a sexual treadmill since shortly after she ran away from home on May 2 and contacted Orrego, who worked for Sam’s Club. He gave her a place to stay on May 3 and took photos and videos of himself and C.R. having sex. Also, he revived her backpage.com ad through which he had first met C.R.

By May 4, she was in Room D209 of the Homing Inn, the room on Orrego’s credit card charges. Orrego left her there to see men who answered the backpage.com posting and sent her text messages such as, “Don't have anyone around unless they are paying you,” and “You need to make some money for us baby … I’m trusting you.”

Also, “just keep grinding.”

C.R. asked Orrego if she could “go get something to eat from downstairs … for 2 dollars.”

Orrego’s reply: “Pay cash.”

The next morning, May 5, C.R. had a bag of chips for breakfast and two male customers at a rate of $80 for a quickie, $100 for a half-hour, $180 for an hour. Orrego arrived, took the money and again video-recorded the girl performing oral sex on him.

After May 6, when Orrego texted C.R., he got responses from an undercover Boynton Beach police officer who had the girl’s phone. During a texting conversation on May 17, Orrego said, “Hotels aren't cheap either … that why you have to be firm with your prices. You have to hustle those people! … I'm just trying to uplift you and help you get everything set up … I don't need to hustle you babe! You just gotta make more money.”

Orrego arrived at 3:15 p.m. that day in a Metro Cab to meet C.R. for sex. Instead, he met several law enforcement officers.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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