ICE Agents Bust International Sex Trafficking Ring
A joint-effort between Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations in New York and the Mexican Federal Police led to the arrest of six people on sex trafficking-related charges.
The multi-year investigation culminated in a 21-count indictment charging six defendants with sex trafficking offenses.
The individuals are alleged members of an international sex trafficking ring that exploited and trafficked adult and minor women in the U.S. and Mexico as early as 2000.
“Human trafficking is a corrosive and degrading practice that goes against both the rule of law and the most basic standards of human dignity. This indictment is yet another sign of the Justice Department’s steadfast determination to hold traffickers accountable for their heinous crimes, and of our unshakeable commitment to helping survivors reclaim their futures and restart their lives,” said U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “I want to commend our partners in Mexican law enforcement for their commitment to combating human trafficking. We thank them for their cooperation in this important action, and for their ongoing collaboration in our shared efforts to end human trafficking in our nations.”
According to a statement from ICE:
As alleged in the indictment, members of the sex trafficking organization, which operated largely as a family business, used false promises, physical and sexual violence, and threats to force and coerce adult and minor women to work in prostitution for the organization’s profit in both Mexico and the United States. Once in the United States, the young women and girls shared apartments in New York City and were forced to work weeklong shifts in brothels or were delivered to a customer’s home. The brothels and delivery services are located both within New York, and in surrounding states, including, but not limited to Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware.
ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of Justice have collaborated with Mexican law enforcement counterparts in a Bilateral Human Trafficking Enforcement Initiative since 2009 aimed at strengthening high-impact prosecutions under both U.S. and Mexican law. This partnership has led to successful prosecutions in both Mexico and the United States, including U.S. federal prosecutions of over 50 defendants.
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