Trucker pimped out teen girls as prostitutes in NJ, cops say
Authorities say they've caught a California truck driver who pimped out two teen girls — ages 13 and 15 — as prostitutes in North Jersey.
Bogart Velasco, 42, faces a long list of charges after allegedly recruiting the two Fresno girls, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said Friday in announcing the arrest.
Wednesday night, Elmwood Park police got a call from a woman in Fresno saying her niece and another girl were missing, but seemed on social media postings to be in a hotel in Elmwood Park, the prosecutor's office said. Elmwood Park police officers found the two teenage girls at the Town House Inn & Suites on Route 46, it said.
Police took the girls into custody and learned they came from Fresno with Velasco, to make money as prostitutes, authorities said. Velasco "promoted" the arrangements and opportunities for prostitution in the Garden State, the prosecutor's office said.
Velasco had sexual relations with both girls, the prosecutor's office said. Both are now in the care of New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.
Authorities said Velasco was found in Elmwood Park and faces a litany of charges, including human trafficking, promoting a juvenile in prostitution and criminal sexual contact.
Authorities say they're still trying to identify any other possible victims or employees of the prostitution operaiton.
Velasco is set to be arraigned Tuesday, and has in the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $500,000.