A criminal complaint charges 13 people with
smuggling dozens of women into the United States
and forcing them into prostitution.
Some of the defendants were to appear
Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan to face
multiple counts including s*x trafficking and
interstate transportation for prostitution.
The ring “lured their unsuspecting victims to the
United States and then consigned them to a living
hell,” US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a
The investigation was among several aimed at
“blockading the repugnant s*x trafficking
corridor” used to exploit victims from Tenancingo,
Mexico, said James Hayes, head of Immigration
and Customs Enforcement in New York.
Tenancingo, an impoverished town in Tlaxcala
state, has long been a notorious haven for pimps
who use a combination of threats, abuse and
broken promises of marriage and jobs to put
innocent victims, some only in their teens, on a
path to s*x slavery in Mexico City and in large
cities in the United States.
Most victims eventually manage to escape,
authorities say in court papers.
But “without legal status in the United States,
without family and friends for support, without
employment opportunities and as a result of the
trauma they suffered, victims sometimes return to
According to the complaint, the ring provided its
victims with condoms and birth control pills while
making them have s*x with up to 30 men a day.
The men paid $30 for 15 minutes.
The women sometimes got a $15 cut, but that
usually went to the traffickers. If convicted, some
of the defendants face a maximum sentence of life