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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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Mexican National Sentenced for Sex Trafficking

An illegal alien from Mexico pleaded guilty Tuesday, December 18, 2012, to conspiring to engage in the sex trafficking of two minors. The guilty pleas resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Kentucky State Police.

Adulfo De Aquino-Cancino, age 28, a resident of Taylor County, Ky., pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to conspiring to benefit financially from a prostitution venture that recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided and obtained by any means two minors. De Aquino-Cancino pleaded guilty and will serve 84 months in prison and up to a lifetime of supervised release. As part of the plea agreement, the United States agreed to dismiss counts 2, 3 and 4 of the grand jury indictment.

According to the plea agreement, between August 2011 and January 2012, De Aquino-Cancino engaged in a conspiracy where he knowingly benefitted from participating in a venture that recruited minors to engage in commercial sex acts. The conduct of the venture constituted interstate commerce because De Aquino-Cancino communicated with the minors via cellular telephone and text messages. De Aquino-Cancino was indicted by a grand jury meeting in Bowling Green, Ky., May 16.

According to an affidavit filed by HSI in support of a criminal complaint, between August 2011, and January 2012, De Aquino-Cancino recruited females, arranged for commercial sexual encounters, transported and benefited financially from commercial sex transactions involving two minors and several adults in Green, Taylor, Adair and Barren counties in the Western District of Kentucky.

On January 19, De Aquino-Cancino was interviewed by a Kentucky State Police detective. He stated that he knew several girls in the Campbellsville, Ky., area who were prostitutes. He further states that he would go to Campbellsville to pick the prostitutes up and take them to different locations where they performed commercial sex acts with the defendant’s friends. The prostitutes would in turn pay De Aquino-Cancino for driving them to the locations. De Aquino-Cancino identified the two juveniles and affirmed that he knew that what he was doing was illegal.

Following this interview, De Aquino-Cancino was arrested by the Kentucky State Police.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua D. Judd, Western District of Kentucky, is prosecuting the case.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Four Found Guilty for Marriage and Immigration Fraud

Federal juries found three individuals guilty of marriage fraud and one individual pleaded guilty to marriage fraud after an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, the FBI and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

On Monday, November 26, 2012, a federal jury found Abubakir Khidirov, 26, of New Orleans, guilty of marriage fraud. A separate federal jury found Rustamon Bahriddinov, 26, of Charleston, S.C., and Rachel Ruiz, 36, of Orlando, guilty of marriage fraud Nov. 21. Rosemary Torres Rosario, 26, of Kissimmee, Fla., pleaded guilty to marriage fraud Monday, November 26, 2012.

These individuals were indicted as part of Operation Knot So Fast 2012. The operation targeted individuals who orchestrated fraudulent marriages to manipulate the U.S. immigration system.

According to evidence presented at trial, Ender Rodriguez, a leader in the fraudulent marriage scheme, arranged the marriage of Khidirov, who was unlawfully present in the United States, to Rosario, a U.S. citizen. The marriage was arranged so that Khidirov could fraudulently become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. During the course of the conspiracy, Rodriguez introduced Rosario to Khidirov. Khidirov then paid Rodriguez $3,500 to arrange the marriage. In addition, Rosario received $5,000 to participate in the scheme. Rodriguez used the fraudulently obtained marriage certificate to prepare and file fraudulent petitions with USCIS on behalf of Khidirov. Both Khidirov and Rosario attended a marriage interview and lied under oath that they entered into a legitimate marriage, when, in fact, they had not.

Ender Rodriguez also arranged the marriage of Bahriddinov, who was unlawfully present in the United States, to Rachel Ruiz, a U.S. citizen. During the course of the conspiracy, Bethania Deschamps, another individual involved in the scheme, recruited Ruiz to marry an alien and introduced her to Ender Rodriguez. Deschamps, who worked with Rodriguez, received a recruiting fee once the alien and the citizen were fraudulently married. As part of the conspiracy, Bahriddinov paid $3,500 to Rodriguez for arranging the marriage and $5,000 to Ruiz for participating in the marriage. Ruiz then used the fraudulently obtained marriage certificate to prepare and file fraudulent petitions with USCIS on behalf of Bahriddinov. Both attended a marriage interview and lied under oath that they entered into a legitimate marriage.

Bahriddinov and Ruiz are scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 28. Khidirov and Rosario’s sentencing hearings are scheduled for March 14. Each individual faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

Twelve other individuals have pleaded guilty to marriage fraud charges as part of Operation Knot So Fast 2012. They include:

  • Bethania Deschamps, 49, of Bronx, N.Y.,
  • Jessica Santiago, 35, of Orlando,
  • Idalia Gomez, 54, of Orlando,
  • Brienn Marie Lasley, 27, of Orlando,
  • Mariya Baran, 26, Kansas City, Mo.,
  • Eric Daniel Toro, 25, of Orlando,
  • Recep Aksu, 50, of Daytona Beach, Fla.,
  • Grisel Ortiz, 40, of Orlando,
  • Volkan Aksoy, 34, of Orlando,
  • Gisela Cora, 26, of Orlando,
  • Ixchell Bonilla, 28, of Orlando, and
  • Edna Isabel Cosme, 41, of Kissimmee.

Ender Rodriguez was charged in 2008 during the first iteration of Operation Knot So Fast. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit immigration benefit fraud. On Sept. 30, 2008, he was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 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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Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking

A Tampa man pleaded guilty Friday, July 13, 2012, to conspiracy to engage in the sex trafficking of a minor, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the Clearwater Police Department.

According to court documents, Mario Laguna-Guerrero, 27, began recruiting “Jane Doe” to perform commercial sex acts in exchange for money in Hillsborough County sometime in 2008. He transported his victim to various locations, including migrant farm worker camps, for the purpose of having her engage in prostitution. At these locations, Laguna conspired with other individuals for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts with Jane Doe.

Jane Doe, who has an IQ of 58, was less than 18 years old when these acts occurred. Evidence at court showed that she and Laguna were engaged in a relationship with each other and, as a result, Laguna knew how old she was.

Laguna faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678

 
 

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Peruvian Nationals Busted for Marriage Fraud Scam

Two co-defendants in a Wood River Valley marriage fraud scheme entered guilty pleas Monday, February 6, 2012 in United States District Court in Boise, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson.

Jenny Sedano-Vilcapoma, 30, of Ketchum,Idaho, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Rudy Isla-Mejico, 36, of Bellevue,Idaho, pled guilty to marriage fraud. The two Peruvian nationals appeared before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse.

According to the plea agreement and her admissions in court, in October 2006, Sedano-Vilcapoma agreed to enter into a fraudulent marriage with a U.S. citizen for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits for herself. The scheme required that, in exchange for financial compensation, the citizen spouse would assist Sedano-Vilcapoma in obtaining lawful permanent resident status by filing forms and attending immigration interviews. On October 1, 2007, Sedano-Vilcapoma filed paperwork with the Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).

Isla-Mejico admitted that in January 2007, he and Sedano-Vilcapoma met with two individuals in Blaine County, Idaho, for the purpose of recruiting one, a U.S. citizen, to enter into a fraudulent marriage with the other, a non-U.S. citizen, in order to obtain immigration benefits. According to the plea agreement, the two agreed to enter into a fraudulent marriage, on January 31, 2007, after which the citizen spouse was paid $2,000. On June 15, 2007, the parties signed and submitted forms to CIS in an attempt to obtain immigration benefits.

The charge of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, as charged in count one of the indictment, and marriage fraud, as charged in count two, are each punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

Sedano-Vilcapoma and Isla-Mejico are scheduled to be sentenced on April 30 at the federal courthouse inBoise.

“Our nation’s immigration laws are intended to provide benefits to individuals who meet certain criteria—not opportunists who manipulate the system for personal gain,” said Brad Bench, acting special agent in charge who oversees ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Idaho. “ICE will continue to investigate those involved in these types of criminal schemes.”

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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