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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A North Texas man who forced a 12-year-old girl into prostitution must serve nearly 16 years in federal prison.

Irving-resident Luis Rivera, 19, was sentenced Thursday in Dallas after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children. Investigators say Rivera met four girls, including the victim, and said he’d help them earn money to buy food.

A man who had sex with the pre-teen girl, Brady Rodriguez-Cruz, a/k/a Marcos Antonio Rodriguez-Mejia, 33, also of Irving, was convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children. He pleaded guilty to possession of counterfeit documents.

Prosecutors say the plan involved Rodriguez-Cruz acting as the “john,” and Rivera acting as the “pimp.”  Lawyers explained, that for at least a year, the pair agreed to force the girl to engage in a sex acts. The prostitution conspiracy began when Rivera told the 12-year-old, and three other minor females, that they needed to engage in commercial sex acts to earn money for food.

Rodriguez-Cruz was recently sentenced to more than 24 years behind bars.

Along with the Irving Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the North Texas Trafficking Taskforce assisted with the investigation.

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