Fatal crash in McLean
The badly burned remains of a woman’s body were found at the scene of a fatal crash in McLean on Tuesday.
County police said officers responded to a crash on Lewinsville Road around 12:18 p.m.
Police said witnesses observed a 2011 Toyota Sienna heading eastbound on the road when the driver apparently lost control, just before Swinks Mill Road.
Police said the vehicle struck a tree and rolled back onto the roadway, where it caught fire.
An unidentified adult female was found deceased inside the charred vehicle, according to police.
Police said that identification of the woman is awaiting a medical examiner’s report.
Police also said it is unknown if speed, alcohol or a medical condition were factors in the crash.
Falls Church vandalism near mosque not hate-related, police say
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is looking into whether several cars vandalized near a mosque in Falls Church were intended as hate crimes. According to CAIR, the council has seen a recent rise in anti-Muslim sentiment on social media.
CAIR spokesman Nihad Awad said the acts could potentially stem from misplaced anger about extremist activity in the Middle East.
"Whenever there is tension abroad with some Muslims, American Muslims pay the price through acts of vandalism, hate crimes, acts of discrimination," Awad said.
Fairfax County Police said more than two dozen cars were damaged within a three-mile radius of the mosque, but that they believe the destruction was not inspired by hate or the location of the mosque.
Dozens of catalytic converters stolen off vehicles in Vienna
County police are investigating a report of 24 catalytic converters that were allegedly stolen off the same number of 2012 Toyota Tundra pick-up trucks at a car dealership storage lot.
Police said officers responded to Koons Toyota, 8610 Leesburg Pike in Vienna, around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday to take the larceny reports.
The vehicles were reportedly stored in a parking garage on Westwood Center Drive.
Police said they believe the converters were stolen sometime between 4 p.m. Monday and 6:50 a.m. Tuesday. They estimate the value of the stolen property at more than $26,000.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Fairfax County Police at (703) 691-2131.
Man sentenced to 40 years for leading prostitution ring
Justin Strom, aka "Jae," "Jae Dee" or "J-Dirt," 27, of Lorton, was sentenced Sept. 14 to 40 years in prison for leading a gang-controlled prostitution business that recruited and trafficked high school girls over a five- to six-year period.
According to court documents, one of Strom's associates, Henock Ghile, 23, of Springfield, was also sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for serving as a driver in the sex trafficking enterprise.
In total, five gang members or associates have been convicted of trafficking juveniles in connection with the case.
"Justin Strom created a waking nightmare for these girls. He exploited them through the sale of their bodies and robbed them of their childhood," Ken Cuccinelli, Attorney General of Virginia, said in a statement.
According to court records, Strom was a leader of the Underground Gangster Crips, a Crips "set" based in Fairfax County. From 2006 to March 2012, Strom masterminded a gang-controlled sex-trafficking operation that prostituted at least eight girls aged 16 or 17, along with adult females, in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Court records state that UGC enticed juveniles and adults online through social media websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Datehookup; in person at Metro stations and bus stops; and in area high schools and a local juvenile detention center. When encountering potential victims, members of the enterprise told recruits that they looked pretty and could use their looks to earn money. Once the victims were ensnared by the enterprise, UGC members and associates groomed new recruits into commercial prostitution, beginning with a "demo" or "tryout" in which the victim was persuaded or manipulated into engaging in sex with one or more members of the enterprise. Then, either Strom or an experienced female participant in the scheme would explain the gang's rules and procedures.
After the victims were initiated into the scheme, Strom and his associates would purchase condoms at local pharmacies and convenience stores, provide the victims with drugs and alcohol and drive them to area neighborhoods including Chirilagua in Alexandria, Commerce Street in Springfield and Ballston in Arlington.
Once there, the victims were instructed to walk through apartment buildings and townhouse complexes, going door-to-door to solicit customers while accompanied by a male bodyguard from the gang, with Strom and others waiting in a car nearby.
As part of the operation, the victims were instructed to find apartments with multiple males inside to minimize walking in the open and to maximize profit. Strom and members of the conspiracy also advertised their victims through websites such as Craigslist.org and Backpage.com, and solicited customers for "in-call" prostitution services that were provided in the basement of Strom's townhome in Lorton. The rate for sex with an underage girl typically was $30-$40 for 15 minutes of sex, and each victim often had sex with multiple men in one night.