A man from Gardena was sentenced this week to 40 years in federal prison for trafficking six girls, most of whom were forced to work as prostitutes or prostitutes, federal officials said.
Laron Darrell Carter, also known as “Bird,” “Pimpin’ Bird,” and “Pie Bird,” was ordered to remain under observation for life, said Ciaran McAvoy, a spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s Office.
Carter was originally convicted of seven counts of sex trafficking of a minor by force, fraud or coercion and seven counts of carrying a child to engage in prostitution.
Carter was sentenced in July 2016 to the same sentence in federal court in Los Angeles, but that sentence was vacated in 2018 for technical reasons after an appeals court overturned convictions in two counts. Those charges, one for each type of offence, were eventually dismissed when no victim appeared for reconsideration.
According to court documents, prosecutors had asked the judge for a life sentence in prison, while defense lawyers argued for a 15-year sentence.
Carter, now 44, was arrested in Las Vegas in April 2014. Prosecutors said he beat some of the girls by punching them in the face or beating them with belts.
He worked as a pimp from 2003 to 2013, prosecutors said, transporting at least one girl from California to other states.
Prosecutors said her arrest came after the defense of a 16-year-old girl who told investigators that Carter recruited her and pushed her into prostitution after coming to Southern California from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He took her to the El Segundo Hotel and advertised her services on a website.