TAMPA — A Tampa woman was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison this week for orchestrating a prostitution ring that employed teenage girls and boys.
Alysia Algere, 29, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court earlier this year to sex trafficking charges. A plea agreement details her efforts in recruiting a girl and boy, both 16, and a second 14-year-old boy, to post online advertisements offering sex for money.
Algere, whom the teens referred to as "Coco," posted sexually explicit pictures on a classified advertising website, according to the plea agreement. She rented hotel rooms, where people responding to ads could meet the teens.
It all was revealed, April 1, 2013, when an anonymous caller phoned the Temple Terrace Police Department. Detectives heard that three women were trying to lure men into a room at the Ramada Inn, at 11714 Morris Bridge Road, with offers of sex. Once inside, the caller said, the men were being robbed.
When officers went to the hotel, a clerk told them that Algere had been renting the room in question for several days. A note in the hotel's computer system warned not to rent to her again because three other women were in the room.
As officers walked down the hallway, they saw Algere and two teen girls.
In later interviews, a 16-year-old girl told officers Algere had stopped her on the street one day, asking questions about her age and job. Algere explained that she made "lots of money and traveled." She asked for the girl's phone number.
Algere later went to the girl's house and explained how prostitution worked, according to the plea agreement. She said she would keep all the money earned until after each session was over.
A 14-year-old boy told police he and a 16-year-old friend met Algere at a driver's license office in Tampa. She explained to them that they could make $300 a night, but did not tell what the work entailed. They later went to Algere's home in Sulphur Springs. About seven other girls were in the house during the visit, they told police.
Algere explained that they would be prostituting themselves. She posted ads with their pictures in a classified page for "TS (transexual), female, and adult jobs." The 16-year-old recalled being listed under the name "Foxy Roxy."
The boys said they sometimes met with 30 clients a day, often working from 4 a.m. until 2 a.m. the next day. Algere would keep half the money, they said.
Upon learning that one boy was only 14, Algere expressed surprise, according to the plea agreement.
Due to potential violations of federal sex trafficking laws, the FBI joined the investigation. The case became part of "Project Safe Childhood" a nationwide effort to identify and prosecute people who sexually exploit children.