JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - Deputies have arrested a Colorado man on accusations that he ran a multi-city sex trafficking ring in the Denver metro area.
Joe Avalos, 35, is alleged to have provided drugs to young women in exchange for them having sex with strangers in Arvada, Wheat Ridge and Boulder, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors said between January and October 2013, Avalos committed pimping, pandering, kidnapping, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and providing free methamphetamine to young women as part of a human trafficking ring.
Investigators believe Avalos ran the operation out of his home on W. 58th Place in Arvada.
Prosecutors said there are five female victims ages 15, 16, 18, 18 and 20. The 16-year-old victim lived with Avalos.
"Avalos orchestrated the advertisement of the women and scheduled the calls," said the First Judicial District Attorney's Office. "He drove them to the jobs at motels in the metro area and provided protection for the women. He would sit in his car, armed with a gun, waiting for them to finish the job. Avalos then collected the money."
Prosecutors have charged Avalos with 17 counts including kidnapping, pandering of a child, pimping, sexual assault, distribution of a controlled substance to a minor, keeping a place of prostitution and attempting to pimp a child.
Avalos is being held on $50,000 cash bond. However, prosecutors said Avalos he is currently in jail on four unrelated pending criminal cases of sexual assault of a child, distribution of a controlled substance to a minor, identity theft and aiding escape.