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StarNews: Woman's guilty plea ends sex-trafficking case


By: Brian Freskos

As the 18-year-old had sex with man after man - 34 in all over a four-day-period - Alexandrea Berte collected the money.

Berte, 20, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal criminal charge in connection with her involvement in an interstate sex-trafficking scheme that set up makeshift brothels in Wilmington and Winston-Salem. The charge carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, according to court documents.

The plea brought the quick resolution of a case that many observers saw as spotlighting a gritty, underground industry where young women and girls are taken to unfamiliar places to have sex with strangers in exchange for cash. The trade is big business in North Carolina, which ranks among the eight worst states for sex trafficking, a problem many attribute to the prevalence of major interstates, ports, military bases and a transient workforce.

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