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Point Arena man pleads guilty to sex trafficking of minor

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A  22-year-old Point Arena man pleaded guilty Wednesday to sex trafficking of a minor, the United States Dept. of Justice (DOJ) said.

Officials said Tion Makeise Foster and 26-year-old co-defendant Monnica Merlin Morales transported a 16-year-old girl to various locations in California, including the Bay Area. According to the DOJ, it was so she could engage in commercial sex acts for their financial benefit in August of 2016. Investigators also said the pair allegedly conspired to traffic her again in November and December of 2016.

The DOJ said Foster pleaded guilty on Dec.13 and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 2018. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, according to the DOJ, the actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of elements. 

As for Morales, charges are pending, according to the DOJ. The charges against her are only allegations; she is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, officials said. 

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