Md. guilty verdict shines light on MS-13 violence, human trafficking

WASHINGTON — A Silver Spring, Maryland, man has been sentenced to serve 15 years in prison in a case that highlights MS-13 brutality and human trafficking.

Felix Zuniga, 52, was found guilty Wednesday on charges of third-degree sex offense, solicitation of sex with a minor and prostitution for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

According to charging documents, the girl worked at Lilly’s Restaurant, in Wheaton, where Zuniga was regular customer, and she was also forced into prostitution by members of an MS-13 clique who at least once beat her with a baseball bat in the backyard of a Kensington home as punishment when she tried to leave.

The girl had been reported as a runaway missing juvenile more than five times.

She said she was forced to work for the MS-13 clique between July and November of 2017.

Zuniga’s sentence — 21 years, with 6 suspended — came in above sentencing guidelines.

Nick Iannelli

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