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El Salvador National Pleads Guilty to Recruiting Teens for Sex Trafficking Ring

An illegal alien from El Salvador pleaded guilty Wednesday February 13, 2013, to recruiting a 15-year-old runaway to engage in commercial sex for a prostitution ring.

Formerly from Adelphi, Md., Yanira del Carmen Guerrero Andrade, aka Yadira or Litsy, 28, was apprehended following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. field office with assistance from the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.

Guerrero Andrade pled guilty to child sex trafficking, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for May 10, 2013.

“HSI will continue to thwart those who prey on teenage victims for their own greed,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge John P. Torres. “We cannot allow anyone to traffic vulnerable victims and think they can get away with this. We will continue to diligently work with our law enforcement partners to combat sex trafficking in our community.”

“Ms. Guerrero Andrade’s actions show just how vile the world of human trafficking is – right here in our community,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “She lured a 15-year-old girl into her boyfriend’s commercial sex trade business so she could sell her off time and time again for profit. Many people think human trafficking is a man’s business – but the recruiters are often women, and we hold them accountable.”

According a statement of facts filed with her plea agreement, Guerrero Andrade admitted that she met a 15-year-old runaway in January 2009 and encouraged her to work as a prostitute for an organization run by Julio Cesar Revolorio Ramos, whom Guerrero Andrade was dating. After the victim spoke to Revolorio Ramos by phone, Guerrero Andrade introduced the victim to him and the two of them transported the victim from Maryland into Virginia to work as a prostitute, even though they knew the victim was under 18 years of age.

On the first day the victim was trafficked, she had sexual relations with approximately 17 customers, and on the third day she had sexual relations with 25 customers. In June 2010, Guerrero Andrade invited the victim to live in the basement of the home she shared with Revolorio Ramos. One week after moving in to the home, Revolorio Ramos again prostituted the victim, and the victim paid rent with the money she received from prostitution.

Guerrero Andrade also admitted that in 2010, she provided the victim with contact information for other prostitution organizations so the victim could work for those organizations during the weeks she was not being prostituted by Revolorio Ramos.

On Feb. 8, 2013, Revolorio Ramos was sentenced to 188 months in prison for his role in sex trafficking a child.

Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies – along with nongovernmental organizations – dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes.

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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Illegal Mexican National Sentenced for Sex Trafficking

An illegal alien from Mexico who lived in Riverdale, Md., was sentenced Friday, January 4, 2013, to 36 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for transporting more than 100 women from other states to engage in commercial sex in Virginia.

Marcos Sanchez Hernandez, also known as “Marquito,” 37, pleaded guilty Oct. 15, 2012, to conspiracy to transport women to engage in prostitution.

“For years, Sanchez Hernandez ran a sex trafficking ring that reached into our communities here in Virginia and out to our neighboring states,” said Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Today, he learned what we hope other sex traffickers are rapidly discovering – sex trafficking is not a viable business enterprise in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and those who engage in it will face lengthy prison time when caught.”

“Sanchez Hernandez profited for years from his multi-state sex trafficking ring,” said John P. Torres, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. “HSI DC does not tolerate the exploitation of others and is committed to bringing to justice those who are involved in the sex trafficking industry.”

According to court records, from 2005 through July 2012 Sanchez Hernandez was part of a network that transported women to engage in commercial sex acts in Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and various locations in Virginia, including Fairfax County, Prince William County, Alexandria, Arlington, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He admitted to transporting more than 100 women and selling their bodies in 10 to 15-minute increments for $30.

In 2010, Sanchez Hernandez took over leadership of the enterprise and trained an employee on where to drive the prostitutes, how to collect proceeds, and how to avoid law enforcement. He advertised the prostitution business by handing out business cards at Spanish restaurants, check cashing stores, construction sites and day laborer sites. Eventually, the proceeds of the operation were sent to the enterprise’s former leader in Mexico.

This case was investigated by the HSI Transnational Gang Unit, which participates in the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc J. Birnbaum, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Frank are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies – along with nongovernmental organizations – dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes. From FY2011 to the present, 46 defendants have been prosecuted in 27 cases in the Eastern District of Virginia for human trafficking and trafficking-related conduct involving at least 32 victims.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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ICE Deports Two Criminal Alien Sexual Predators

Two Mexican nationals convicted of sexual assault in Arkansas were removed from the United States Monday, November 26, 2012, by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Candelario de la Cruz-Gutierrez, 33, and Jesus Arredondo-Jasso, 24, were detained by ICE following their release from local custody due to convictions for sexual assault. In additional to their sex crimes both men have multiple prior arrests for unlawful entry into the United States and were identified by ICE’s Criminal Alien Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing criminal aliens.

“ICE will continue to focus its enforcement operations on identifying, arresting and removing sexual predators and convicted criminals from our community,” said Philip Miller, ICE field office director for ERO New Orleans. “Criminals in Arkansas should be on notice – ICE will find you and bring you to justice.”

According to agency records, ICE took custody of Arredondo-Jasso May 21 at the East Arkansas Regional Corrections Facility, where he was serving a prison sentence for felony sexual assault. Arredondo-Jasso was initially deported in 2007 following his illegal entry into the United States along the Texas border. In 2008, ICE arrested Arredondo-Jasso for again illegally entering the United States; he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawful re-entry and was deported again.

ICE took custody of Cruz-Gutierrez Oct. 27 at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility after he was sentenced to probation following a felony conviction for sexual assault. Cruz-Gutierrez was previously caught illegally entering the United States along the Texas border in 2008 and again in 2009. The U.S. Border Patrol and ICE returned Cruz–Gutierrez to Mexico both times.

ERO is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ERO also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.

Largely as a result of these initiatives, for three years in a row, ERO has removed more aliens than were removed in fiscal year 2008. Overall, in FY 2011 ERO removed 396,906 individuals nationwide –the largest number in the agency’s history. Of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed, were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors –an 89 percent increase in the removal of criminals since FY 2008. This includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence. ERO achieved similar results with regard to other categories prioritized for removal. Ninety percent of all ERO’s removals fell into a priority category and more than two-thirds of the other removals in 2011 were either recent border crossers or repeat immigration violators.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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2 South Korean Women Deported for Sex Trafficking and Fraud

Two South Korean women – one wanted in her native country for sex trafficking, the other for large scale financial fraud – were turned over to South Korean law enforcement representatives at the airport in Seoul Thursday, November 29, 2012, by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Kyung Hwa Choi, 39, and Sun Hee Kim, 42, were returned to South Korea by commercial aircraft, accompanied by officers from ICE’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Choi is the subject of a South Korean arrest warrant issued in March 2008 charging her with financial fraud. According to the warrant, between 2000 and 2008, Choi and a partner operated a trading business that duped investors out of the equivalent of $8 million. One month after that warrant was issued, Choi entered the U.S. on a tourist visa, which authorized her to remain in the country for no more than six months. Last month, Choi was arrested at her Adelanto home by ERO officers, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. An immigration judge subsequently granted Choi voluntary departure under safeguards to South Korea.

Kim, meanwhile, faces charges of sex trafficking in her native country. Earlier this year, the South Korean consulate in Los Angeles alerted ERO about the outstanding criminal warrant. The warrant accuses Kim of “buying” three Korean women for $20,000 in 2005 and forcing them to work as prostitutes in Los Angeles. ERO officers took Kim into custody in August and she was ordered removed by an immigration judge in October 2012.

“Foreign criminal fugitives who seek to escape responsibility for their actions by fleeing to the United States will find no sanctuary in Southern California,” said Timothy S. Robbins, field office director for ERO Los Angeles. “As these two cases make clear, ICE is working closely with law enforcement agencies here and abroad to protect public safety and hold criminals accountable – no matter where they commit their crimes.”

Robbins noted that the capture and repatriation of growing numbers of foreign criminal fugitives shows the significant public safety benefits of expanded cooperation and communication between the Department of Homeland Security and foreign law enforcement agencies.

Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 500 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE’s Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Role in Interstate Prostitution Ring

An illegal alien from Mexico who lived in Riverdale, Md., pleaded guilty Monday, October 15, 2012, to transporting more than 100 women from other states to engage in commercial sex in Virginia.

The case was investigated by the Transnational Gang Unit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which participates in the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.

Marco Sanchez Hernandez, also known as “Marquito,” 37, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport women to engage in prostitution. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 4, 2013.

In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Sanchez Hernandez admitted that from 2005 through July 2012 he was part of a network that transported women to engage in commercial sex acts in Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia and various locations in Virginia, including Fairfax County, Prince William County, Alexandria, Arlington, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. The women were instructed to charge $30 for 15 minutes of sex. In addition to transporting women to engage in sex acts, Sanchez Hernandez collected money from various drivers who also transported the women to the homes of customers. He also advertised the prostitution business by handing out business cards at Spanish restaurants, check cashing stores, construction sites and day laborer sites. Eventually, the proceeds of the operation were sent to the leader of the organization, who resides in Mexico.

Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies – along with nongovernmental organizations – dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes. From 2011 to the present, 40 defendants have been prosecuted in 22 cases in the Eastern District of Virginia for human trafficking and trafficking-related conduct, involving at least 31 victims. Twelve of those defendants were gang members or associates prosecuted for sex trafficking juveniles in northern Virginia, with sentences imposed ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment.

Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc J. Birnbaum, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Frank are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Romanian National Pleads Guilty to Marriage Fraud

A 33-year-old Idaho man pleaded guilty Monday, October 15, 2012, to the unlawful procurement of U.S. citizenship following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Florin Fleischer admitted to providing materially false statements on his January 2010 naturalization application. During the application process, Fleischer stated he had never committed a crime for which he was not arrested; and that he had never provided false or misleading information to a U.S. government official in an application for an immigration benefit.

In 2003, prosecutors say that Fleischer, a Romanian national at the time, entered into a fraudulent marriage with a United States citizen for the sole purpose of unlawfully obtaining legal U.S. immigration status. Then, in January 2004, he filed an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to obtain lawful permanent resident status based on his marriage. Later that year, he was granted conditional permanent residency. Fleischer subsequently petitioned to have the conditions removed and the petition was approved in 2007. In 2010, Fleischer was granted U.S. citizenship in Boise, based upon false statements he provided on his application.

Under the plea agreement, Fleischer faces court revocation of his U.S. citizenship. The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

Fleischer’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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ICE Prostitution Sting Arrests 64

The arrest of 64 men and women for solicitation of prostitution was announced Friday, September 28, 2012, by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the San Antonio Police Department.

“Operation Polar Bexar” was a nine-hour operation that took place Sept. 21. The operation was a proactive human trafficking enforcement action focusing on the demand for prostitution. The 64 arrested were charged with soliciting a prostitute. In addition to this state charge, 17 from Mexico and Honduras also face federal administrative charges for being in the country illegally. Once their state case is fully adjudicated, each will be turned over to ICE and placed in removal proceedings.

According to Bexar County Sheriff Amador Ortiz, a team of detectives posed as prostitutes. Those arrested showed up on foot, on bicycles and in personal and company-owned vehicles offering to pay for various forms of sexual encounters. Once a deal was made, they were immediately arrested upon entering a local hotel room.

“Today we want to send a message that this behavior will not be tolerated in our communities,” said Sheriff Ortiz. “Local authorities will go after you and bring you to justice.”

“HSI was proud to support the Bexar County Sheriff in this operation. Thanks to the hard work of law enforcement, 64 individuals were taken off the streets,” said Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of HSI San Antonio. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who commit this crime are held accountable for their actions.”

The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting these cases.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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