Updated after the jump with suspect's plea. Originally posted at 3:59 p.m.
Authorities say Leroy Bragg is a pimp of the worst kind — a man who allegedly put a 13-year-old girl on the streets of the Los Angeles area to sell her body for his benefit. Now police fear the case of a 14-year-old Krystina Cordasco, a girl missing from Upland, might be connected to Bragg, too.
The 34-year-old Hawthorne man was arrested Tuesday night. Cops think he might be tied into a prostitution ring that preys on middle-school girls. The case is so egregious that the FBI has joined the Los Angeles Police Department's investigation into what could be a human trafficking ring, according to the Daily Breeze.
Bragg, known on the street as “Snipe King,” was in Los Angeles Superior Court Thursday to face charges that include burglary, human trafficking and pimping minor girls, according to the L.A. District Attorney's office. He was being held in lieu of $1.3 million bail.
Update: He pleaded not guilty.
The D.A's case involves a 13-year-old runaway, according to the Breeze. The paper reports that, if convicted, Bragg could reach a third strike that would put him behind bars for life.
The accused pimp was nabbed in the backyard of a house in the 13300 block of Roselle Ave., said Hawthorne police Lt. Gary Tomatani.
Teen Krystina Cordasco vanished from her Upland home Monday, according to the Breeze. She appeared to be a habitual runaway, but cops were still worried that Bragg's associates might have gotten their hands on her.
Cordasco has reportedly been seen in the L.A. area.
“They are brainwashing these young children,” Upland police Sgt. Greg Signorio told the Breeze. “We just want to get her back. She is in danger.”
Anyone who might have spotted the girl was asked to call Upland police Detective Scott Sellers at 909-946-7624.