BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A 33-year man pleaded guilty Monday to trafficking minors for sex at the Desert Star Motel, the target of a years-long multi-agency investigation into prostitution and trafficking that closed the business last year.
Darnell Bernard Edwards, of Antioch, pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of California. He faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Sentencing is set for March 20.
In April and May 2019, Edwards took two underage girls to the motel and ordered them to make $500 a day by engaging in prostitution, according to a Department of Justice release and court filings. The girls had the letter “D” and a crown tattooed on their bodies, marking them as being pimped by Edwards, reports say.
Last month, former Desert Star owner Jatinbhai Bhakta pleaded guilty to use of a business of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise and aiding and abetting. It’s alleged Bhakta charged exorbitant daily rates for pimps to use his rooms to prostitute women or, in some cases, minors.
Bhakta’s sentencing is scheduled in February.