Juan Rico Doss, 38, of Reno, Nev., was sentenced Monday by a federal judge in Riverside.
A federal jury convicted Doss on June 26, 2006, of two counts of sex trafficking of children, three counts of transporting minors into prostitution, one count of conspiracy, and two counts of witness tampering.
Prosecutors said the trial evidence showed that in May 2005, Doss conspired with his wife, Jacquay Quinn Ford, to transport two girls -- one 14 years old and one 16 -- across state lines to work as prostitutes; the 16-year-old was recruited and transported by use of force. Ford pleaded guilty to conspiracy and cooperated with the government, testifying against her husband; now 28, she was recently sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Doss' earlier trial ended in a mistrial after the 14-year-old refused to testify. Investigators found Doss had coerced her into silence, which led to the witness-tampering counts in the second trial.
The judge found his previous conviction in Nevada -- for pandering of minors for the purpose of prostitution -- qualified as a prior sex offense under the federal statute. Doss is among the first convicts in the nation to receive a mandatory life sentence under federal law for repeated sex offenses against children.